This morning (July 10, 2012), music industry cynics were rubbing their hands with glee, when Frank Ocean 's album was made available earlier than expected. Following last week's announcement (by Ocean himself) regarding his sexuality, the Odd Future collaborator appeared on Jimmy Fallon last night and in the midst of all the hype, his album was made available to stream online, on his Tumblr page, with a link to purchase the full album on iTunes. With one eyebrow arched, many music fans were wondering if this was all part of a carefully orchestrated plan to ensure that Frank Ocean's album got all the attention that his record label felt that it deserved. If it was, it can be considered a success, as the album quickly shot to the top of the iTunes chart within hours of being made available.
Def Jam President Joie Manda reckons not, insisting "You have to understand that Frank's letter last week was in No Way intended to impact the marketing of this record. Like all things with Frank, it was a carefully measured, very personal decision." A booker for Late Night With Jimmy Fallon went on to explain that his appearance on Jimmy Fallon's show had been planned for two months and that it was always the label's intention to release Channel Orange digitally after the appearance. In an email to Entertainment Weekly, the booker confirmed "The announcement of the early digital release was part of the plan from the very beginning."
There's no doubting that the buzz created by Frank Ocean's open confession about his first love being a man will have helped bring attention to him as an artist. Speaking on behalf of Def Jam, though, Mand said simply that they label's plans for Ocean "remain the same: to support Frank Ocean's creativity and artistry and allow him the freedom to continue building the very special relationship he's cultivated with his fans."