I received the first ever “double-issue” of Playboy Magazine today. This means–presumably–that instead of receiving twelve issues this year I’ll only receive eleven. They apparently tried to make this detail more palatable by including a 14-page pictorial of twins. Get it? Nothing in the magazine explains the reason they combined two issues into one. Hugh Hefner didn’t reply to a tweet in which I asked him about the double issue.
I found an article online that posits and explanation. No wonder they’re not forthright about the frequency change in the magazine.
Playboy Plans ‘Radical Changes’ to Print Model
Jason Fell, Folio, May 11, 2009
The publisher reported a $13.7 million net loss during the first quarter of 2009, compared to a $4.2 million loss during the same period in 2008.
Last October, Playboy eliminated 80 jobs and closed the company’s DVD business.
I’m thrilled they axed their DVD business! I wish they’d nix the Cyber Club and give all print subscribers access to an online edition with full access to the archives. The Cyber Club is little more than endless pictures and videos of beautiful naked women. No thanks. I really do read Playboy for the articles.
The digital edition of Playboy is currently distributed by Zinio, which sucks…big time! I can’t print the articles or copy/paste quotes for use at The Rhetoric or Twitter. The DVD anthologies are also distributed by a third-party, Bondi Digital, in a proprietary format that will likely be unsupported in even the near future. New decades were supposed to come out every six months; only the 1950s have been published so far.
Playboy’s new model of revenue-by-licensing is killing the brand.
Playboy is considering “radical changes” of the print business model, including price increases, a frequency reduction and lowering its rate base of 2.6 million. The company said it would combine Playboy’s July and August issues into a double issue.
They need to make radical changes to their print business model. I’d gladly pay higher subscription rates for Playboy if it were a better magazine. It used to be a great magazine. Hugh and the other editors need to go through some of the old magazines to get a feel for what it was like when it was tops, and reread The Playboy Philosophy.
Just look at this cover for this double issue. It’s a boring snapshot of a beautiful model. So what? How do you think it compares to previous great covers?
Top Ten Playboy Covers
Brent Danley, The Rhetoric, September 8, 2008
The current issue covers twice the time of a single issue but does not have twice the content. It does have a pictorial of twins, which is cool. What I subscribe for, however, is the progressive intelligent editorial voice–the articles. This issue has several VERY short articles by prominent thinkers about the future. I expect a magazine which is for men–not boys–to have more in-depth and lengthy analysis. The Interview is Alec Baldwin, which is cool, I suppose. I’d rather read about someone a bit more interesting, like Jack Dorsey, Richard Dawkins, or Christopher Hitchens. There is a profile of notorious pitchman Billy Mays, of Oxi Clean fame. Snore. The Forum–my favorite part–is still relegated to the back and is a scant five pages. Marginalia is gone. WTF?!
I’ll continue to subscribe so I won’t have a gap in my collection, in case they eventually climb back to prominence and profitability. I won’t continue to laud what has been their important progressive voice. That voice has been muffled by greed, mediocrity, shameless self-promotion, sophomoric content, and distracting pursuits of licensing contracts and reality television shows.
@Playboy tweets are mostly about Playmates and casting calls. Is that what the brand has become? How about focusing on real issues like recent marriage initiatives, the failed War on Drugs, health care, the environment, Dr. George Tiller, Iran, Iraq, the treatment of women in Islam, and the declining influence of the religious right?
We need a new Shel Silverstein, too. And a panel forum. Is that too much to ask? The current issue of Esquire Magazine has a wonderful piece of fiction by Stephen King. Since when does Playboy get it’s proverbial ass kicked by a rag like Esquire?
If guys want sophomoric content let them buy Maxim. If they want to be sexually aroused let them buy Penthouse or Hustler. Playboy should not compete for their dollars; it has always been better than that.
The corpse is starting to stink. Can it be resuscitated? I certainly hope so!