Few publishing empires were decimated by the Internet (or was that DVD?or VHS?) as badly as Hugh Hefner’s iconic Playboy (PLA). So it’s no surprise to see its print business continue to shrivel. But online, too?
Playboy’s online revenues were down 3% to $15.2 million in Q1 from $15.7 million last year. Why? Per the earnings release: “gains in e-commerce, advertising and mobile revenues could not offset lower pay site revenues.” Porn, of course, is supposed to be one of the only things anyone will pay for on the Web, but we have a suspicion that surfers are finding they can fulfil their needs without pulling out their credit card these days (see chart below).
It’s one of many problems for CEO Christie Hefner. The company reported a loss ($3.1 million) on lower revenue (down 8% to $78.5 million). Revenue in all segments were down, including publishing (down 14%), TV (down 16%) and licensing (down 13%).