�
You are here: Home » Adult Webmaster News » Playboy Hires New Head of Media, Cuts Output To...
Select year   and month 
 
September 11, 2018

Playboy Hires New Head of Media, Cuts Output To 4 Issues Per Year

LOS ANGELES—It's certainly one of the most iconic names in adult entertainment, but has it come time to ask, just where is Playboy Enterprises going? Playboy's trademark, the one-eyed rabbit, is an image that's been instantly recognizable worldwide almost since the first issue of the magazine hit the stands in 1953, but with the advent of the internet and myriad websites offering sexual material ranging from light tease (Playboy's forté) to full-blown hardcore, much of it free, the Playboy empire has fallen on hard times. Circulation of the magazine fell from its high point in November 1972, when 7,161,561 copies were sold, to its total circulation in 2017 of just 321,315 copies. It's hardly any wonder that the magazine's output dropped from monthly to 10 issues per year in 2009, that more recently the magazine went bi-monthly—and that just today, it was announced that in 2019, Playboy would only be published quarterly, though at double its current size ... and featuring three Playmates each issue. It's possible that part of the magazine's increasingly lackluster performance can be traced to the decision by then-CEO Scott Flanders in October 2015 that Playboy would cease publishing nude photos, opting to show mere tease and hoping to survive on its occasionally award-winning journalism. At that point, circulation was just under 800,000 copies sold per issue. "You are now one click away from every sex act imaginable for free," Flanders explained at the time. "And so it's just passé at this juncture." As expected, there was an immediate backlash to that decision among fans, and founder Hugh Hefner's son Cooper rescinded that edict beginning with the March/April 2017 issue. Today, Playboy Enterprises, the parent to all Playboy products, derives about 40 percent of its revenue from its media division, which consists of not only the bimonthly magazine and its special issues, but also its cable channels Playboy TV (previously outsourced to Manwin but now back in-house) and the Spice Network, Playboy Radio, and its various websites based in the U.S., Denmark and the U.K., as well as the company's online store, a site called "Playboy Gaming" and one or two other websites. The company currently earns half of its revenue from licensing of the Playboy name and logo on a wide array of consumer products from coffee mugs, wallets and clothing, generating roughly $1.5 billion in retail sales in 180 countries. In what is perhaps an attempt to shore up the media division's earnings, the company has just hired Julie Uhrman to the newly created position of president of media. Uhrman has an uneven résumé, with the mogul having most recently worked for Lionsgate as Executive VP and General Manager of "over the top" ventures, where she oversaw the company's several streaming franchises including Tribeca Shortlist, Comic-Con HQ, and Laugh-Out-Loud. Uhrman had some success at Lionsgate in growing the media division. Less successful was her attempt to introduce a new Android-based video game console, the Ouya, beginning in 2012. Uhrman oversaw the Kickstarter offering which got the project off the ground, eventually raising $8.5 million (at the time, the fifth highest-earning project in Kickstarter history). The console was released for sale to the public in June 2013 (Kickstarter supporters got it a couple of months earlier), but sales were poor from the start, and eventually, the company's software assets were sold to Razer Inc., which discontinued sales of the console in July 2015. But Playboy has great hopes for Uhrman. "Julie brings with her a wealth of experience in media and digital-focused businesses that will be integral to our efforts to meet the demands of our current subscriber base and expand the brand's presence on new platforms," said Ben Kohn, CEO of Playboy Enterprises. "With her entrepreneurial mindset and broad experience across digital product, Julie will be a strong asset as we develop opportunities across Over-The-Top platforms, gaming, VR/AR, and digital products around the world." According to the company, Kohn intends for Uhrman to "leverage Playboy's progressive and provocative content and to strengthen the brand's product offerings in the digital and physical space. This will include establishing new content partnerships, increasing monetization opportunities, developing virtual and augmented reality opportunities, and leveraging her deep knowledge of the gaming business to create new products and more." Though Uhrman's hiring was announced only today, one has to wonder if her impending employment was in any way connected with the other new headline about Playboy: the (re-)opening of a Playboy Club in Manhattan, complete with "alluring Playboy Bunny hostesses" and a "sexy and sophisticated aesthetic"—something the island hasn't seen in 32 years, when the original Playboy Club closed its doors. (All other Playboy Clubs followed suit by 1986.) According to the New York Post, memberships to the club will top out at $250,000 per year for highest ranking VIPs, and a source told the Post that by June of 2018, $2.2 million in memberships had already been sold. It is unclear what role, if any, Uhrman will play in the operation of the Manhattan Playboy Club, which is scheduled to open on Sept. 15. "From its very earliest days, Playboy has been an organization that has stood for personal and social freedom," Uhrman said in regard to her new position with the company. "It's a brand that actually helped trigger shifts in social awareness and continues to push the envelope in ways that make its offerings more inclusive than ever. I'm thrilled to be joining the Playboy team to help tell this evolving story through all mediums around the world for current and future generations."

 
�
�
�
home | register | log in | add URL | add premium URL | forums | news | advertising | contact | sitemap
copyright © 1998 - 2009 Adult Webmasters Association. All rights reserved.