Just as many other businesses are having to rapidly reevaluate structures and revenue streams in light of coronavirus-related isolation measures being put in place, so too is Playboy. The publication announced today that it will no longer be putting out its quarterly print magazine and going fully digital for the remainder of the year before recommencing more limited print runs in 2021. Here’s an excerpt from the long open letter by Playboy’s CEO:
We have decided that our Spring 2020 Issue, which arrives on U.S. newsstands and as a digital download this week, will be our final printed publication for the year in the U.S. We will move to a digital-first publishing schedule for all of our content including the Playboy Interview, 20Q, the Playboy Advisor and of course our Playmate pictorials. In 2021, alongside our digital content offerings and new consumer product launches, we will bring back fresh and innovative printed offerings in a variety of new forms–through special editions, partnerships with the most provocative creators, timely collections and much more. Print is how we began and print will always be a part of who we are.
So, it’s more of a pause in print than an outright stoppage. The “Rabbit Head,” as this letter bafflingly describes the Playboy Bunny logo, will return to the page, but another possible economic collapse sending 2008-PTSD waves through the publishing industry is certainly not what magazines needed right now.