There’s a growing threat to Playboy on Snapchat, and the legacy media company has looked into buying it, Business Insider has learned.
Playboy is considering all sorts of options, including a sale or partial sale, but is also looking at buying younger companies to stay relevant. One of those companies is Arsenic, a growing media company that crowdsources sexy images of women and has grown rapidly on newer social media platforms.
In early March, the company had on average more than 500,000 views on Snapchat every day and close to 1 million followers on Instagram, double what Maxim Magazine has and close to a quarter of Playboy’s 4.5 million. Arsenic’s daily views on Snapchat almost rival the circulation of Playboy’s magazine, which dropped from around 5.6 million in 1975 to around 800,000 in recent years.
According to a person with knowledge of the talks, Playboy approached the young startup to become its millennial brand and attract a new audience to the legacy publication in an effort to revive itself. The terms of the deal and where it stands in light of the sales news are unknown. Arsenic declined to confirm or comment on any talks between the parties.
“We admire Playboy and, in particular, their rich history, but we decline any further comment. We’re simply focused on our future,” its CEO Billy Hawkins told Business Insider. Playboy did not respond to request for comment.
While Arsenic has built its following on young, raw, and edgy, Playboy has moved in the opposite direction. Last fall, the company announced it will stop publishing nude photos, saying they had become outdated due to the plethora of free pornography on the internet.
The Wall Street Journal earlier reported news of Playboy’s sales talks. The company could be reportedly worth as much as $500 million.