TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Playboy to Go Digital as of September

Playboy to Go Digital as of September

Reuters News Wire (
Wed, 24 Aug 2005 22:14:42 -0500

Playboy magazine, losing money in the face of depressed advertising,
will go digital later this year in hopes of winning new subscribers
and advertisers.

The first digital magazine -- which will mirror the print version --
will be available in September after months of testing the technology,
Playboy Enterprises Inc. said on Wednesday.

The move comes as Playboy Enterprises is increasingly dependent on
revenue from its licensing and entertainment businesses rather than
the publishing division, where it posted a second-quarter loss of $2.3
million. The media company's overall profit totaled $4.6 million.

"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

"One is more and more consumers are getting information and entertainm
ent online and the other is more and more advertising dollars are
going online."

With the digital service, readers can buy either a subscription or
single copy that can then be downloaded. The company launched the
service in conjunction with digital marketing and publishing company
Zinio Systems Inc.

Hefner described the start-up costs as "very modest" and said
individual digital issues would be priced at the same rate as
newsstand copies, while subscriptions would be slightly higher than
the lowest introductory price for print editions.

She said that Zinio finds subscriptions to digital editions typically
average about 5 percent of print subscriptions.

"For Playboy that would be a very large number because we have 2.8
million subscribers to the print magazine," she said. "But we aren't
making any budget projections at this point."

An October issue featuring the Girls of the Pac 10 and an interview
with comedian George Carlin will kick off the digital publishing.
Starting September 13, it can be downloaded from

Copyright 2005 Reuters Limited.

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