Jay-Z and Kanye West‘s long awaited collaborative album Watch the Throne was released on iTunes yesterday, making it one of the rare high-profile records to come out over the past few years without leaking. The CD version of Watch the Throne is set to go on sale at Best Buy stores on August 12th.
Though the rappers have been criticized by independent retailers for signing exclusive deals with iTunes and Best Buy, those agreements may have made it possible to avoid a leak. Many leaks happen because CDs are lifted from the manufacturing plant, or during shipping. Since the Best Buy exclusive deal limited the supply chain, it may have been easier for Def Jam to know when a leak would be inevitable and fast track the release to the iTunes store. If this is the case, this sort of release plan may become a model for new records by major acts.
• Jay-Z Previews ‘Watch the Throne’ in New York
• Jay-Z and Kanye West Announce ‘Watch the Throne’ Tour
• Young Jeezy Joined Onstage in NYC By Jay-Z, Kanye West
• RZA Discusses His Role Producing ‘Watch the Throne’