Playboy: magazine says goodbye to the paper version


Published on Mar 19, 2020


Playboy. the famous magazine founded by Hugh Hefner in 1963, will become completely digital, starting from the next number. The announcement was made by CEO of Playboy Ben Kohn on Medium, in a long letter to the public. Although it is not confirmed that the print edition will be abandoned forever, there will be more this year. All that is mentioned are “special editions” and things of that kind.

“Dear team and partners,

I am writing this letter to share my deepest wishes for the health and safety of our global community at this time. I also want to take this opportunity to provide an update on the strength of our business and some of the steps that we are taking to ensure our continued growth in 2020 and in the next decade.

Playboy is many things to many people. A magazine for many, a way of life for many others, a clothing brand, a club membership, and even, according to some, “a corruptor of our youth”. But in the last sixty-six years, one thing has remained constant: our commitment to free expression and the breaking of taboos, helping the public to express and understand their sexuality and to support the search of pleasure for all.

We are proud to be one of the most recognizable players in the world: 97% of the population of our planet knows what is the Rabbit Head, brazenly with the bow tie. No matter whom you talk to, is a brand that evokes reactions and stimulates conversation. In today's world, this is immensely powerful. Powerful because in a time when we are divided, the conversation is what we need the most. Powerful because it helps to burst the filter and to engage the outside of the barriers that constrict us more and more.

Also our public recognizes this power. Recognizes him when he chooses to expose our logo, wear a shirt with the Playboy, wearing the jewel of the Rabbit's Head, tearing a condom Playboy or spray that breath of perfume, Playboy. You are inviting us to notice them, put them in the discussion, to interact with them and to challenge them. They are making a personal statement on sex-positive, self-expression and pleasure for all.

We understand our role and our responsibility in this interaction. Create an editorial quality, which widen the boundaries and in support of what is right and gives the example will always be at the centre of our mission. We will never stop trying to help our audience understand their own sexuality and that of others. Our content, products, partners and experiences are the way in which we drive important conversations, we light the inequality, censorship, and prejudice, and we break down barriers to pleasure and sexual freedom that many still face.

At this time, the Playboy is more successful than ever. Our audience is huge. We manage over $ 3 billion annual expenditure for consumers around the world. We reach hundreds of millions of eyeballs every year, between all sexes. Last year, our goal has been to meet the audience where he was. We have earned over 4 million new followers on Instagram and posted a growth of more than 50% of the engagement on our social channels in the last 6 months, have increased our subscriptions to the digital video of almost 30% on an annual basis and acquired a direct marketing to the consumer that serves nearly 1 million of active customers every month.

At The Playhouse last spring, we have transformed our magazine in a multi-sensory experience that has transformed our articles dialogues in the double sense with our audience, with a panel on the defense of cannabis, the female sexuality in the arts and the future of masculinity, among other topics. We held our first sessions of The Playboy Interview Live and, recently, we have given life to the famous book the Playboy Advisor in the first digital series on social that has offered millions of viewers the sex that we wanted to have.

We are also immensely proud of our quarterly magazine renewed which is arguably one of the print offerings from the design the most beautiful on the market today. But it is not surprising that media consumption habits have changed from time – and while the stories we produce and the works of art that show they are appreciated by millions of people on digital platforms, our content in its printed form comes in the hands of only a fraction of our fans.

Last week, when the interruption caused by the pandemic coronavirus in content production and in the supply chain has become increasingly clear, we were forced to accelerate a conversation that we had internally: the question of how to transform our print product to the United States to better adapt to what consumers want today and how to use the capacity of our content production industry leaders to engage in a cultural conversation every day, instead of only every three months.

With all this in mind, we decided that our number of spring 2020, which arrives on newsstands in the u.s. and as digital this week, will be our last print publication of the year in the United States.

We will pass on to a program of digital publication for all of our content, including the Playboy Interview, 20Q, Playboy Advisor, and, of course, our Playmate. In 2021, together with our offerings of digital content and the launch of new consumer products, we will bring offers printed fresh and innovative in a variety of new forms, through special editions, collaborations with the creators, the most provocative, collections, and much more. The press is how we started and the print will always be part of who we are.

In the last 66 years we have become much more than a magazine. And sometimes you have to let go of the past to make room for the future. Then we turn our attention to the achievement of our mission in the most effective way and impact possible to help create a culture in which all people can pursue pleasure.

We look forward to continue working with all of you to keep our business strong and growing.

You are safe,

Ben Kohn

CEO, Playboy Enterprises, Inc.”

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