Playboy Is Coming Back But In A Way Nobody Expected

Playboy is switching from a print-based media format and going digital with a subscription-based service.

By Robert Scucci | Updated


If you’re one of the many Playboy fans that purchased the magazine “just for the articles,” then you’re probably not going to like what we’re about to tell you. According to CBC, Playboy announced a relaunching for the digital era that would resemble and compete with the OnlyFans subscription model. This development has been a few years in the making and resulted from complications that Playboy magazine faced during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

The only way for a business to succeed is to constantly adapt, and this is exactly what we’re seeing with the Playboy reboot. The COVID-19 pandemic forced businesses to pivot into new territory, and we’ve all experienced shifts in the workforce for better or for worse; there were mass layoffs, but the companies that had the infrastructure to accommodate hybrid work environments rolled out work-from-home initiatives to keep the economy going. Playboy is no different and took a page from the OnlyFans playbook by shifting gears to focus on a subscription-based creator platform that lets users upload their content.

This pivot in content distribution just goes to show you that if there’s a will, there’s a way. When you can’t shoot photos or videos on location due to health code restrictions, how does the show go on? Playboy simply looked at the market and came up with a game plan.

Though we’re not sure what this means for the lifestyle and entertainment magazine, considering that we’re not sure how a centerfold would work on an LCD monitor or tablet screen. Aside from featuring nude and semi-nude photos from the scantily clad Playboy Bunnies (otherwise known as Playmates), Playboy magazine was also well known for publishing short stories from authors like Chuck Palahniuk, Roald Dahl, Shel Silverstein, and Vladimir Nabokov. We’re also wondering if Playboy will still feature their in-depth interviews from the likes of public figures, composers, musicians, or film directors.

James Franco as Hugh Hefner in the 2013 biopic Linda Lovelace

As Playboy transitions into their new business model, we could turn to subscription-based platforms like OnlyFans or Patreon, where creators post exclusive pay-walled content, and the platform takes a cut off the top from creators. This could prove to be a lucrative venture for sex workers and aspiring models to get their careers lifted to new heights, and the possibilities are endless. Sure, we won’t see the same unified editorial voice that Playboy magazine had, but that doesn’t mean each individual creator won’t have their own content featuring interviews or cameos from individuals within their own personal networks.

Playboy magazine was founded in 1952 by Hugh Hefner and has always had its finger on the pulse in pushing the sexual revolution forward with provocative photos and insightful, in-depth interviews with relevant figureheads of the time. In 2023, print media has all but moved to online distribution models, so it only makes sense to keep up with the times. Though Playboy’s online platform is still in development, we can wonder about all the different ways the brand can branch out and maintain relevancy.

Though we’re excited about the new online subscription model that Playboy is launching, we wonder if the occasional print publication will still make its way to newsstands. Only time will tell if the online launch is the entire strategy or if print media will play a minor part in Playboy’s transition to the digital age!