Playboy Magazine Suspends Its Print Edition

Published on March 18, 2020

Playboy Magazine is ceasing its print edition. The decision will last for the rest of the year. The magazine has been moving more and more to the digital realm these last few years, but the decision to suspend the print decision is a surprising move for the classic dirty but classy magazine

No More Print

For years now, fans of Playboy Magazine have had access to the magazine digitally through kindle and other platforms. Even on the magazine’s website a consumer can sign up for an online subscription. Playboy Magazine is always readily available to readers. The magazine was created by the controversial and polarizing Hugh Hefner, who passed away a few years ago. Hefner was a force in freedom of speech and expression, but the rest of his legacy and past is always up for debate. 

Due to the Coronavirus

The magazine is stopping due to the coronavirus. The magazine, which has been around since 1953, saw too many issues posed by the virus to keep printing. Expect more magazines to follow in Playboy Magazine’s footsteps. 

The New Spring Issue 

Playboy will now follow its “digital first publishing schedule.” When Playboy does return to printing its content, it’ll no longer be in a monthly issue form. Regular print publication is now a part of the past for Playboy. 

In a statement, Playboy CEO, Ben Kohn, said they’re looking towards the future following COVID-19.

“Last week, as the disruption of the coronavirus pandemic to content production and the supply chain became clearer and clearer, we were forced to accelerate a conversation we’ve been having internally: the question of how to transform our US print product. We have decided that our Spring 2020 Issue, which arrives on US newsstands and as a digital download this week, will be our final printed publication for the year in the US. 

It’s no surprise that media consumption habits have been changing for some time – and while the stories we produce and the artwork we showcase i enjoyed by millions of people on digital platforms, our content in its printed form reaches the hands of only a fraction of our fans. Over the past 66 years, we’ve become far more than a magazine. And sometimes you have to let go of the past to make room for the future.”

The Evolution of Playboy

Playboy is still dominating, making over $3 billion a year. It’s another major change for the magazine, which has evolved frequently throughout its history, for better and worse. Years ago, Playboy took a more radical approach by completely altering their image: no more nude images. The magazine moved away from pornographic images, which was sensible given the Internet. Longtime readers were surprised, though. Eventually, Playboy Magazine went back to their roots and the nude photographs returned. However, they’re sandwiched between fantastic content. 

Playboy is often a goldmine for damn good writing. They often feature bestsellers and acclaimed journalists. Their interviews especially are fantastic. Playboy Magazine has a long history of classic interviews, revealing far more about their subjects than most print magazines. They get incredible access and time with their subjects. Most fans of Playboy Magazine are subscribers for the content, not the photos.

The old joke of “I read it for the articles” is truer than ever. Most people don’t buy Playboy for the photos; it really is for the articles. They have such a wide-range of stories from food to travel to, yes, sex. Playboy has continued to expand its content and outlook. 

While Hugh Hefner maybe never grew up, the magazine continues to do so. It grows with the times, usually. Actually, often Playboy writers are ahead of the times. Whether in print or digital form, Playboy Magazine will remain an iconic magazine… even if it’s technically now a digital magazine.

Jack Giroux is a Staff Writer at Grit Daily. Based in Los Angeles, he is an entertainment journalist who's previously written for Thrillist, Slash Film, Film School Rejects, and The Film Stage.

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