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Playboy Enterprises

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Playboy Enterprises, Inc.
Playboy Enterprises International, Inc.
New Playboy, Inc.
IndustryLifestyle Mass media
Founded1953; 66 years ago (1953)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
FounderHugh Hefner
HeadquartersBeverly Hills, California, U.S.
Area served
Key people
Ben Kohn, CEO
ProductsPlayboy Magazine
Playboy TV
Playboy Online
Adult entertainment  
RevenueDecrease $215 million (2010)[1]
Decrease $-36.30 million (2010)[1]
Decrease $-48.50 million (2010)[1]
Total assetsDecrease $196.83 million (2010)[1]
Total equityDecrease $-22.30 million (2010)[1]
OwnerFamily of Hugh Hefner
Number of employees
165 (2013)[2] Edit this at Wikidata

Playboy Enterprises, Inc. is an American privately held global media and lifestyle company headquartered in Beverly Hills, California. It was founded by the late Hugh Hefner to initially manage the Playboy magazine empire. The company is structured with two primary business segments: Media (which manages content for print, digital, social, mobile, TV and radio platforms) and Licensing (which licenses the Playboy name, Rabbit Head design and other trademarks, logos and images for use in connection with consumer goods, venues and events).[2] Today, Playboy Enterprises, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, engages in the development and distribution of content, products and high-profile events that embody both “eroticism and fine art.”[3] The Playboy rabbit logo is one of the most widely recognized and popular brands in the world.

Sales of Playboy magazine peaked in 1972 at over 7 million copies.[4] By 2015 the circulation had fallen to 800,000.[5] The company now derives over 40 percent of its revenues from its media division, and about half of the revenue comes from the licensing of consumer products.[6]

Playboy Enterprises, Inc. is based in Beverly Hills, California, having closed its former headquarters in the top office floors of 680 N. Lake Shore Drive in Chicago, Illinois, in April 2012.[7] In January 2013, the company said it employed 165.[2]

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • ✪ Playboy: How Hugh Hefner Built His Empire


Few people today remember just how big of a gamechanger Playboy was during the 1960s. That’s why, in honor of Hugh Hefner’s passing, we’ll be exploring the spectacular rise of Playboy. This video is brought to you by Squarespace. Build beautiful websites easily and affordably by signing up with the link below. Hugh Hefner was born in Prohibition-era Chicago to a Protestant family. His parents were extremely conservative, to the point where they not only prevented him from drinking, smoking and swearing, but also did not allow him to go to the movies on Sundays. The subject of sex was complete anathema to them, and unsurprisingly Hefner grew up to be very introverted young man. To escape from his conservative reality, he would often turn to drawing comics and creative writing. After graduating college with a psychology major, he landed an advertising job at Esquire magazine. While working there he got very involved with the content, and this let him understand what made Esquire successful. We’ve already talked about the rise of the educated American in our Degree Factory video, but in short: as more and more young Americans graduated from college and got well paying jobs, the demand for a higher-quality lifestyle became apparent. Esquire tapped into this new demand exceptionally well, by painting a picture of what the modern educated American should look like. According to them he should be sophisticated, yet worldly, with an interest in fancy sports cars, good food, expensive clothing and, of course, good looking women. Hefner realized how successful this formula was, and so he was eager to try applying it on his own. When his boss at Esquire refused to give him a five-dollar raise in 1952, Hefner quit and set about creating his own magazine. Right off the bat he wanted to take Esquire’s concept to the next level, and what better way to do that than by adding naked women into the mix. Now, that in and of itself wasn’t particularly revolutionary: there’d been plenty of “dirty” magazines in the States by that point. All of them, however, very shoddy items. They were printed on the lowest quality paper possible and were generally not something you’d be proud to show to your neighbors. What made Hugh Hefner’s idea unique was to combine the high-quality content of a lifestyle magazine with the sexual liberty of showing beautiful naked women. To get his idea rolling he invested almost all of his life savings, and when they ran out he ended up selling $8000 worth of stock to investors and getting $1000 from his mother. He also hired his dad to be his accountant, but despite their involvement, neither of his parents read a single issue of the magazine. Initially, he wanted to call it Stag Party, but due to a copyright dispute he ended up naming it Playboy. For the first issue he bought the famous nude calendar pictures of Marilyn Monroe for $200 and added quite a lot of spicy cartoons and jokes. He published the first issue of Playboy in December of 1953, but he was so uncertain of its future that he didn’t even put a publishing date on it. He was afraid nobody would buy it, but in fact, Playboy’s very first issue sold 55,000 copies at 50 cents a piece. The gem of Hefner’s magazine from the very beginning was the “Sweetheart of the Month”, the concept which eventually evolved into the Playmate we know today. Marilyn Monroe was a very fitting choice for Playboy’s first issue, but that’s not the only reason for its success. The content itself was very interesting and featured articles and stories from some of the best writers and critics of the time. Stephen King, for example, would often submit his short stories at Playboy, as did Ray Bradbury, Ernest Hemingway, and many others. All these authors made Playboy a very high quality publication, but of course the real money didn’t come from selling the magazines themselves, but from the advertisements in them. Thanks to his time in Esquire Hefner knew how to sign the best possible advertisers for Playboy. He wanted the ads in Playboy to reflect the ideal lifestyle of its readers and in a way, the ads helped Hefner establish Playboy’s reputation. Of course, they also carried quite a hefty paycheck and by the time Hefner had published Playboy’s fourth issue, he had made enough money to rent a proper office in downtown Chicago. It’s worth noting that the pictures published in the magazine’s first 15 years are quite tame by today’s standards. In fact, it wouldn’t be until 1972 that Playboy would dabble in full frontal nudity. Hefner divorced his first wife in 1959, and this left him in a rather weird position. The line between his private and professional life dissolved almost entirely, to the point where he took on the persona of the sophisticated, successful bachelor that was idealized by Playboy. He essentially became the face of Playboy, and he would remain so for the rest of his life. By 1960 the Playboy magazine had become one of the most successful publications in the States, boasting a circulation of over a million. Using some of the $2.3 million dollars Playboy earned that year, Hefner opened a Playboy Club in Chicago, where you’d get served food and drink by the iconic Playboy Bunnies. The club was an instant success and attracted over a hundred thousand visitors just in the last three months of 1961. Before long, Hefner had opened Playboy clubs across the country and was also buying up various other real estate, including hotels and casinos. At the end of the 1960s Playboy boasted a $127 million dollars in sales, and by that point its content alone was exceptional. The magazine became well known for its upfront and in-depth interviews with some of the most high-profile public figures of the time. Playboy journalists interviewed Malcolm X, Miles Davis, the Beatles, and many other famous people. The early 1970s became the golden age of Playboy, as America experienced the full force of the sexual revolution. Hugh Hefner further cemented his bachelor persona by purchasing what is now known as the Playboy Mansion for $1.1 million in 1971. Located near Beverly Hills, Hefner would frequently host lavish parties there in a very Great Gatsby-esque fashion. Just a year later Playboy recorded its highest ever circulation at 7.2 million readers and it was now a publicly traded company. Despite that, Hugh Hefner’s hectic leadership was dragging the company down. While revenues had never been higher, actual profit was down to just $2 million in 1975. Hefner’s real estate investments and brief partnership with Columbia Pictures to make movies and tv shows were unprofitable and were eating away at the company’s revenues. This trend continued until the 1980s, when the company lost a record $69 million over the course of two years. The number of Playboy clubs went down from 22 to just 3, and the likes of Hustler and Penthouse were challenging the Playboy magazine. Finally, in 1982 Hugh Hefner’s daughter, Christie Hefner, was made president of Playboy and was put in charge of restoring the declining business. Two years later she had sold off Playboy’s casinos and was working hard to bring the magazine in line with the times. Just as breaking the sexual taboos of the 1950s gave Playboy its initial kick, now it needed a new direction. For Christie, this meant becoming a champion of social issues: things like freedom of speech, and supporting gay rights and AIDS research became the hallmark of Playboy. The magazine still featured nude women, but it also became a platform for activists and political dissidents. While the move did bring in a more diverse audience, it also attracted the unwanted attention of the government. In 1986 the Reagan administration labeled Playboy as pornographic, which immediately caused sales to plummet. Just four years later the magazine was down to just 3.4 million readers, and its only lifeline was its newly promoted subscription service. Christie directed her sights outwards and that paid off. She licensed 14 international editions across Asia and Europe, which collectively had over a million and a half readers by 1990. Her next move was to meet Hustler and Penthouse on the media’s latest battlefield: the Internet. Playboy became one of the first national magazines to have its own Web site, and within its first year it had recorded a peak of half a million visitors in a single day. By the end of 1997 it was generating 7 million visits per day and was bringing in significant income from online advertising. But in the years after 2000, competition quickly brought Playboy down to its knees. Other publications dropped the heavy thought-intensive articles in favor of shorter content that could be read more quickly. Another trend of newer publications was to feature celebrities, photographed as close to nude as possible without actually being nude. In this way they could be shown next to regular magazines, unlike Playboy, which had to be kept to the side. The company struggled through the early 2000s and finally posted a loss of $160 million in 2008 after failing to re-enter the TV and casino businesses. Christie resigned the same year, and since then the company has been mostly going downhill. Hefner took Playboy private in 2011 with the help of a company called Rizvi Traverse, upon the condition that they would purchase Hefner’s 33% stake within a year of his death. Hefner then passed the day-to-day operations of Playboy to his youngest son, Cooper, who at 26 is already living a life as wild as his father’s. But while he seems eager to restore Playboy’s popularity, some insiders are questioning whether the company should even continue to exist in light of Hugh Hefner’s passing. Just one of the many signs of its declining image is the fact that Hugh Hefner sold the Playboy Mansion for only half the amount he wanted in early 2016. Now that he’s gone, the future of Playboy looks increasingly uncertain. The magazine has failed to distinguish itself from its competitors in an already declining industry thanks to the sheer availability of online porn. Whether Cooper will be able to save Playboy, and whether he’ll even be given the chance to do so remains to be seen. Now, looking back at Playboy’s website from 1996 makes me wonder just how much money they spent on it. But here’s the thing: making beautiful websites is no longer a byzantine endeavor that costs thousands of dollars. In fact, with Squarespace it’s gonna cost you as little as $12 a month. They’ve got over a hundred designer templates which are fully customizable, and to see just how awesome it is I’m giving you a 2 week free trial and 10% off your first order if sign up with the link below. Visit and you’ll be on your way to building a stylish website easily and affordably. Big thanks to our awesome patrons for supporting us and to you for watching. Make sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Reddit, and as always: stay smart.


Brief history

Playboy Enterprises was created in 1953 as the HMH Publishing Co., Inc. for the purpose of publishing Playboy. The business quickly expanded and began to develop and distribute a wider range of adult entertainment. It went public in 1971. Christie Hefner, daughter of Hugh Hefner, was the President from 1982, Chairman of the Board and CEO from 1988, until she left the company in 2009. In late 2015, it was announced that the print edition of the magazine would drop all centerfolds. The first magazine without centerfolds was the March, 2016 edition, released in early 2016.

The Age reported in October 2008 that, for the first-time ever, Hugh Hefner was selling tickets to his celebrity-filled parties to offset his cash-flow problems due to setbacks Playboy Enterprises has suffered, including decreasing Playboy circulation, decreasing stock value, and ventures that have yet to turn a profit.[8] Christie Hefner released a memo to employees about her efforts to streamline the company's operations, including eliminating its DVD division and laying off staff.[9]


Playboy also ran forty Playboy Club properties from 1960 to 1986. Playboy operated casinos in England from the mid-1960s to 1981, when they lost their operating license. Playboy also operated a casino in Nassau, Bahamas from 1978 to 1982.[10] From 1981 to 1984, the company was a partner in the Playboy Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Playboy Enterprises was denied a permanent New Jersey gaming license and was forced to sell out to its partner, which changed the name of the hotel/casino to the Atlantis Hotel and Casino. The company returned to the nightlife business with the Playboy Club at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, which opened in 2006[11] and closed in 2012.[12] Other Playboy Clubs opened in Cancun, Macau, and London in 2010 and 2011.[13] Meanwhile, the company says it will open at least three Playboy stores in each of the next three years.[14]

The company's Playboy Foundation provides grants to non-profit groups involved in fighting censorship and researching human sexuality.

Playboy Entertainment

The Playboy Entertainment Group is a division of Playboy Enterprises that includes Playboy TV and Playboy Online, which is the fastest growing revenue source for the company. The Entertainment segment develops, produces, acquires, and distributes various feature films, magazine-format shows, reality-based and dramatic series, documentaries, live events, and celebrity and playmate features for television networks, Web-based entertainment experiences, portable podcast entertainment, DVD products, and online gaming under the Playboy and Spice brand names.

As of December 31, 2005, it owned, operated, or licensed 23 television and movie networks under Playboy TV, Playboy TV en Español, and Spice in the United Kingdom, South East Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, and Japan. Its programming is carried in the U.S. by all six of the major multiple system operators and both of the satellite direct-to-home, or DTH, providers. In 2005, a Playboy satellite radio station launched on Sirius Satellite Radio.

The company offers multiple subscription-based Web sites and online video-on-demand theaters under the Playboy and Spice names. It also operates e-commerce Web sites, including for purchasing Playboy-branded fashions, calendars, DVDs, jewelry, collectibles, back issues of Playboy magazine, and special editions, as well as non-Playboy-branded products; and, which offers adult-oriented products, including DVDs, lingerie, and sensual products. The Company has online operations consisting of a network of websites with an established and growing subscriber and revenue base.

The Company distributes its original programming domestically in DVD format. More recently, it began developing portable podcast content. It also distributes various non-Playboy-branded movies and continues to re-package and re-market its catalog of previously released DVD titles. Company-wide marketing operations consist of Alta Loma Entertainment, the Playboy Jazz Festival and Playmate Promotions. Alta Loma Entertainment functions as a production Company that leverages its assets, including editorial material, as well as icons such as the Playmates, the Playboy Mansion and Mr. Hefner, to develop original programming for other television networks.

Its revenue is derived from Domestic Television, International Television, Online, and other sources. Currently the Entertainment division accounts for over 60% of the revenue of the Playboy Enterprises.[15]

Playboy Online

Playboy Online
Type of site
Magazine website, erotica
Available inEnglish
OwnerPlayboy Enterprises, Inc.
(managed by MindGeek)
Created byPlayboy Enterprises, Inc.
Alexa rankDecrease 37,379 (June 2018)[16]
Current statusActive

Playboy Online (or is the internet business segment of Playboy Enterprises, Inc. It falls within the Playboy Entertainment business segment, which is the largest of the company's three business segments. Playboy Online is the fastest growing revenue line item in Playboy Enterprises, accounting for 15% of corporate revenue.[citation needed] Its revenue comes from both online subscriptions to Playboy Cyber Club and from E-commerce, including internet advertising.

Playboy Online should not be confused with the now-defunct Playboy Digital, which began production late in 2005 as an electronic duplicate of the physical print offerings within the publishing group.

Available online since 1994, Playboy Online produces original content that mostly differs from the print editions of the publications produced by Playboy Publishing. It regularly features themed online pictorials such as women who work at Olive Garden, Wal-Mart, or McDonald's

Playboy Licensing

The Licensing segment licenses the Playboy name, the Rabbit Head design and other images, trademarks, and artwork to “appear on a wide range of consumer products including apparel, accessories, footwear, lingerie, jewelry, fragrances and home fashions.” Its licensed products generate “more than $1 billion in global retail sales in more than 150 countries and territories.”[17] Spirits and vapor products are among Playboy's latest licensing ventures. The spirits are made by VuQo.[18][19]

The Company's trademarks and copyrights are critical to the success and potential growth of its business as “Playboy is one of the most recognized, celebrated and popular consumer brands in the world.”[20] In 2013, Playboy ranked number 56 among the Top 150 Global Licensors by License! Global magazine.[21]

Currently the Licensing division accounts for about 50% of the revenue of Playboy Enterprises.[22]

PB Lifestyle of India

PB Lifestyle Ltd. is promoted by Mumbai-based entrepreneurs. Following their interests in media and entertainment, PB Lifestyle Ltd. has signed the master and exclusive franchise/licensee agreement with Playboy Enterprises USA (for ten years) for the use of the Playboy brand in India for various businesses.[23] PB Lifestyle representatives have also stated that the company will adapt the Playboy brand to suit India's decency standards and will not allow content/material that is deemed 'lascivious or appealing to prurient interests'.[24]

Playboy Publishing

The Publishing segment publishes Playboy magazine, a general-interest magazine targeted to men; special editions, books, and calendars; and the licensing of international editions of Playboy magazine. Playboy magazine is the largest monthly men's magazine in the United States and in the world, based on the combined circulation of the U.S. and international editions.[25] Playboy formerly published Oui Magazine and Hefner also published Trump Magazine.

As of 2007, the Publishing division accounted for nearly 30% of the revenue of the Playboy Enterprises.[26]

In 2005, the company began producing Playboy Digital which is an exact duplicate of the print version of the magazine. Its initial launch started with 15,000 subscriptions. This is very different from Playboy Online, which produces original content. In 2005, Playboy began print editions in Argentina, Slovakia, and Ukraine bringing the number of international editions to 20.[27]

Investor information

In March 2011, founder Hugh Hefner succeeded in a bid to take Playboy private after 40 years as a publicly traded company. He partnered with private equity firm Rizvi Traverse.[28]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Playboy Enterprises, Inc. Reports 2009 Results". Retrieved 2010-08-05.
  2. ^ a b c "The New (Old) Playboy". Men's Fitness. 2013-01-24.
  3. ^ "To Playboy magazine, sophistication is the new sexy". The Los Angeles Times. 2013-09-14.
  4. ^ "The Girls Next Door". The New Yorker. 2006-03-20.
  5. ^ "Hugh Hefner, Who Built Playboy Empire and Embodied It, Dies at 91". The New York Times. 2017-09-27.
  6. ^ "Rebuilding Playboy: Less Smut, More Money". The Wall Street Journal. 2013-02-20.
  7. ^ "Playboy's Move to Los Angeles Set for April 30". 2012-01-17.
  8. ^ "Party's over for Playboy king Hugh Hefner." The Age October 18, 2008. Retrieved 30 October 2008.
  9. ^ "Playboy Enterprises Does Restructuring; Shutting DVD Division For Online Focus; 80 Positions Will Go." Yahoo! Finance 15 October 2008. Retrieved 30 October 2008.
  10. ^ Playboy Chips and Tokens - The Rise and Fall of the Bunny Chip [1]
  11. ^ Bracelin, Jason (2006-10-07). "Bunnies Are Back: Palms' Fantasy Tower takes Playboy Club concept to new heights". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
  12. ^ "Playboy Club at Las Vegas' Palms casino closes". USA Today. AP. 2012-06-04. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
  13. ^ Kee Hua Chee (2001-06-27). "Playboy Bunnies a tourist attraction". The Star. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
  14. ^ (Dead link). MSN. Archived July 16, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ [2]
  16. ^ " Traffic Statistics". Alexa Internet. Retrieved June 12, 2018.
  17. ^ "IMG Brands and clients".
  18. ^ "VuQo Inc. Announces Global Licensing Agreement With Playboy Enterprises". 2013-07-14.
  19. ^ "Playboy Vapor Collection".
  20. ^ "IMG Brand and clients".
  21. ^ "Top 150 Global Licensors". License! Global. 2013-05-03.
  22. ^ "Rebuilding Playboy: Less Smut, More Money". The Wall Street Journal. 2013-02-20.
  23. ^ Times, Economic (Nov 1, 2012). "Playboy Enterprises plans to open clubs, cafes and retail stores in India". The Economic Times. Retrieved 16 December 2012.
  24. ^ UK, BBC (Nov 1, 2012). "India to get first Playboy Club in Goa". BBC news. Retrieved 16 December 2012.
  25. ^ "Playboy Enterprises, Inc". FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2006. Retrieved April 7, 2007.
  26. ^ "Form 10-K for PLAYBOY ENTERPRISES INC". 2007-03-16. Archived from the original on March 27, 2007. Retrieved April 7, 2007.
  27. ^ "2005 Annual Report" (PDF). Playboy Enterprises, Inc. 2006-03-06. Retrieved April 7, 2007., pg 4.
  28. ^ "Playboy Enterprises, Inc. Announces Closing of Acquisition by Icon Acquisition Holdings, L.P." (Press release). 2011-03-04. Retrieved 2017-06-04.

External links

This page was last edited on 14 August 2019, at 06:41
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