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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Why Playboy Magazine REALLY Went Downhill

~ Playboy's very boring October 2015 cover...

It was announced today that as of the March 2016 issue, Playboy magazine would no longer have any nudity in its pages..

And those who run the magazine actually believe this will Increase subscriptions and revenue!

The reasoning they say is one can find pictures of attractive nude women all over the Internet so people just aren't willing to pay $$ to look at nudity in a monthly..

News Flash: There are even More pictures of attractive CLOTHED women on the Internet!
So that reasoning really does not hold water..

Here's the thing about Playboy:

When you shrink the pages of your magazine over the years from 320+ pages back in the mid 1970s to 120pgs today..

And you shrink the size of monthly centerfold pages from 12 to 8 and cut the number of issues from 12 in a calendar year to 10..

And you have no clue what age or socio-economic demographic you are trying to court so you change the content every couple years..

Well is it any surprise circulation has dwindled over the years from 5.5 million in the 1970s to 800,000 subscribers today?!
I am not a current subscriber to the magazine but about a year ago I did join iPlayboy.com which allows myself to have access to every magazine from the beginning and since I actually read the articles the main perk is access to the interviews and fiction from years past..

So let's do that.. compare the present to the past..

This month is the October 2015 issue..

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, an actor I personally am not very familiar with is the month's Interview subject and comedian Jeff Garlin who stars in ABC-TV's 'The Goldbergs' is the focus of 20 Q's..

There are 3 nude pictorials.. one is 6pages, the centerfold and 'Girls of Big 12' are each 8 pages..  The entire issue is 126 pages
The October 1985 issue of Playboy was 244 pages..  That is Double in size of this month's issue...

The Interview subject was John DeLorean who was a big deal back then.  If you don't know who he was, the best pop culture reference point I can give is the film 'Back to the Future'.. He created the car Michael J Fox time-travelled in..  20Q was Rosanna Arquette..

There were 3 pictorials then as now.. the first, model Jerry Hall who was Mick Jagger's girlfriend at the time was 10 pages, and the subsequent two - the centerfold and 'Girls of Ivy League' were 12 pages each...

Now let's compare the magazine generally today issues of another year..  I'll use 1980 since I'm kinda partial to it and its a nice number that ends in zero (That's 35 years ago for you math-cats out there)
In 2015, Playboy has released 8 issues thus far in 10 calendar months..

A couple Interview subjects were admittedly interesting (Martin Scorcese - May 2015; Dick Cheney - April 2015)..  Most others were inconsequential subjects (Ed Helms - Sept 2015; Vince Vaughn - Feb 2015)

The interviews like the articles are shorter than years past and not as much depth, and overall its a very thin publication that is not worth the $6 or $7 it charges on the newsstand..

Now let's go back to 1980..
The January issue with Steve Martin on the cover was a whopping 334 pages with works of fiction from noted authors John Le Carre and Roald Dahl and an interesting article for Trekkies on the 'Behind the Scenes' of the making of the first Star Wars movie that came out in late 1979.

In subsequent months, if you had access to Playboy from 1980 you'd find literature from Tom Robbins, E.L Doctorow (he wrote 'Ragtime') , Truman Capote, Henry Miller and Philip K. Dick (he wrote the book which the film 'Blade Runner' is based upon..)

The July 1980 interview is with Bruce Jenner..

This was right around the time he divorced his first wife after she had invested so much of her time, energy and money supporting him in the years prior to and during the 1976 Olympics and he didn't need her anymore since he was making so much on his own as Olympic sponsor
The December 1980 issue was a gigantic whopping 392 pages!   That is the size of the last 3 current issues of Playboy combined!!

There were 4 pictorials that month including monthly playmate.. Each was 14 pages..  Remember what I said the October 2015 issue was?  6-8 pages each..

So the fact that no one gives a bleep about Playboy and wants to bother reading or subscribing to it has little to nothing to do with ease of access to nudity

Its all about quality of content..  Or lack there of..

Within the next 5 years, Playboy may no longer exist anymore as either a magazine or online site.

All it will be is the rabbit logo on merchandise symbolizing a time when Playboy was worth looking at..