Playboy Magazine Doin The Digital Thang

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Legendary men’s magazine Playboy announced on Wednesday they would be publishing an online edition of their magazine in addition to their current printed edition.

Christie Hefner, Playboy Enterprises CEO and daughter of its founder Hugh Hefner told Reuters in an interview, “I think we’re all cognizant of the fact that there are two macro trends going on here that this product is designed to respond to,” Playboy Enterprises Chief Executive Christie Hefner said in an interview.

“One is more and more consumers are getting information and entertainment online and the other is more and more advertising dollars are going online.”

Right now, revenues are down for the publishing division of the men’s entertainment empire to the tune of a second quarter loss of $2.3 million and an overall profit of $4.6 million, which realistically isn’t that much, although better than the $8.3 million loss from last quarter.

As the media company tries to move their lifestyle oriented magazine in a profitable future, the Hefner hutch has it’s work cut out for it. According to founder Hugh Hefner, they will continue to aim for the early adapter, cutting edge mode that kept them around this long.
“Since the first issue in 1953, Playboy has been about lifestyles, and our readers have been among the earliest adapters to cutting edge trends and technologies,” said Playboy Founder and Editor-In-Chief Hugh M. Hefner. “The tens of millions of consumers around the world who consider Playboy to be the gold standard for entertainment for men will welcome our digital edition.”

Christie Hefner added, “We see this as a natural extension of the Playboy brand. We have worked with Zinio over the last six months, offering subscription and single copies of our popular special editions, and the response has been extremely positive. By launching Playboy digital, we are offering consumers worldwide a digitized product identical in every way with Playboy’s print edition.”

Hefner continued, “The increased distribution and worldwide access will also increase our loyal advertisers’ reach to consumers, and provide additional advertising sales opportunities as we are able to meet the growing demand of companies to market online by offering ad sponsored links. From the company’s perspective, digital Playboy will be a much more cost-effective way to distribute our content and count toward ABC rate base. Moreover, because of our success with Playboy.com, we see significant opportunities for cross promotion and bundling between our Cyber Club and digital Playboy.”

The magazine’s digital edition will be available on September 13th and the digital copy will go for the same price as the newsstand edition and subscriptions will be slightly higher than the introductory rates, which run about $20 for a 2-year subscription when ordered online.
This is just the latest attempt for by Playboy to move into the digital age. Playboy.com and the CyberClub have been around for several years now and they’ve got a number of spin off websites but they also have recently offered photographic offerings for use on the iPod and the Sony PSP in downloadable formats.

The biggest hit for Playboy in recent years besides a loss of advertising and a downturn in the magazine market in general has been competition. Magazines like Maxim and FHM have put a real vice grip on the venerable men’s magazine because unlike Playboy, they don’t have photos of completely nude women. They have scantily clad women, but for Kroger and Wal-Mart and Walgreen’s it makes a big difference on newsstand sales. The magazine doesn’t have to be put behind the counter or in most cases, not carried at all.

John Stith is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

Playboy Magazine Doin The Digital Thang
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