Playboy’s Next Print Magazine Will Be Its Last for 2020

A new one Playboy The magazine will be published this week – both on newsstands and as a digital download – and it will be the last for this year.

In a lengthy letter posted Wednesday on the Medium blog platform by Ben Kohn, CEO of Playboy Enterprises, he details his decision and outlines his plans for the iconic future publication. . It remains unclear whether the magazine will ever return to newsstands.

Playboy is many things to many people. A magazine for many, a lifestyle for many others, a clothing brand, a membership club and even, according to some, ‘the pervert of our youth.’ But over the past 66 years, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to free expression and breaking taboos, leaning towards discomfort, helping audiences express and understand sexuality their own, while advocating for the pursuit of joy for all,” said Kohn, who worked as a financier before taking on a leadership role at the company and transitioning to private mode. April 2011. “We’re moving to a digital-first publishing schedule for all of our content including Playboy Interview, 20Q, Playboy Advisor and of course our Playmate image. In 2021, along with digital content services and new consumer product launches, we’ll bring fresh and innovative print services in new forms – through special editions specials, partnerships with the most provocative creators, trendy collections and much more. Printing is how we started and printing will always be a part of who we are. “

Print magazines have struggled for years, since the 2008 recession, and Playboy hasn’t been immune to those changes in audience engagement as many subscribers have moved to digital platforms, but Kohn said the current coronavirus pandemic has accelerated Playboy’s plans to halt print publishing, which he says can only reach a small subset of their audience. “It comes as no surprise that media habits have changed in a while – and while the stories we produce and the artwork we feature are loved by millions across the globe. digital platforms, our content in print reaches only a fraction of our fans,” he wrote. “Last week, as the coronavirus pandemic’s disruption to content production and supply chains became more and more apparent, we were forced to accelerate the conversation we were having internally: the question of how? how to transform American print products to better suit what consumers want today, and how to use our industry-leading content production capabilities to engage in a cultural conversation every day, instead of just every three months. “

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A final note is consent to the changes made last year when Playboy moved from publishing six issues a year to publishing quarterly. Furthermore, the brand has struggled to find its identity amid the changing consumer landscape for adult content. Editors have experimented with ways to increase engagement for the magazine, once hailed as a men’s bible under its founder Hugh Hefner, who passed away in 2017 and is widely known. with nude photos of Playmate and other notable women (as well as award-winning articles). A few examples: They tried eliminating nude photo sessions; then bring the nude back; published content from feminist writers; and expanded with pop-ups. Meanwhile, there was no Hefner left in the building. Cooper Hefner relinquished his tenure with his father’s company in the spring of 2019 and has since moved on to serve in the Air Force as well as on numerous boards including Chapman University.

Kohn has also overseen brand expansion to brick-and-mortar locations and global licensing deals. Even though the press is dwindling, he insists that Playboy Enterprises still makes a fortune every year. “Our audience is huge,” he wrote. “We drive more than $3 billion in annual consumer spending around the world. We reach hundreds of millions of eyeballs every year, of all genders. This year, we’re focused on meeting audiences where they are. We’ve gained over 4 million new Instagram followers and seen over 50% growth in engagement on our social channels over the past 6 months, increasing our digital video subscriptions. we’re up nearly 30% year-over-year and enjoy direct-to-consumer commerce serving nearly a million active customers each month. “

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Although they were done, now, with a Playboy print magazine, Kohn concluded their article by saying that their mission has remained unchanged: “Over the past 66 years, we have become more than just a magazine. And sometimes you have to let go of the past to make room for the future. So we’re turning our attention to achieving our mission in the most impactful and effective way possible: to help create a culture where everyone can pursue joy. “

Read his full blog post here.

More to come…

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