Hopefully, men really do “read it for the articles,” because soon that’s just about all that will be left.
In a bid to rescue the magazine from dramatically declining subscription numbers, Playboy has decided to redesign its business model, and nude women are no longer at its core.
The decision to focus the magazine more on men’s lifestyles, fashion, and interests (not including naked girls, apparently) was spurred on by the disruptive influence the internet has played on the traditional porn industry, according to the New York Times.
“You’re now one click away from every sex act imaginable, for free,” said Scott Flanders, the company’s chief executive. “And so it’s just passé at this juncture” to keep moving forward with the magazine’s old business model.
And, to a large extent, Flanders might be right. Playboy’s circulation has dropped from 5.6 million in 1975 to just roughly 800,000 today, according to the Times.
Flanders told the Times that there will continue to be a Playmate of the Month, but beginning in March the pictures will be more reminiscent of the PG-13 posts on Instagram, rather than the highly produced nude sets to which current readers are accustomed.
The new spread will be “a little more accessible, a little more intimate,” he said, adding that the company has not yet decided if it will continue with its iconic centerfold.
The company’s decision to attract more readers by reinventing itself as a more subdued men’s lifestyle magazine was not an easy one, according to Playboy’s top editor, Cory Jones.
“Don’t get me wrong,” Mr. Jones said of the decision to dispense with nudity, “the 12-year-old me is very disappointed in current me. But it’s the right thing to do.”
With nothing but lifestyle articles and PG-13 Playmates, men can finally read Playboy without the unnecessary distraction of naked women on the pages. This kind of so-called “entertainment” almost gives the predictably boring Democrat presidential debate a run for its money:
— Ferrell Reed (@allinvpl) October 13, 2015