Paid Content: Is Playboy getting it right?
Playboy Enterprises reported today that net income for the first quarter ending March 31, 2003, was $0.6 million, compared to a net loss in the prior year quarter of $9.4 million. Apparently these results reflected their online group’s move from an operating loss to an operating profit, as well as improved Licensing and Publishing results.
There’s some pretty agressive marketing going on at the US Playboy site, including a sizzling premiumn cyberclub that promised access to snaps of every Playmate ever, a Playboy TV streaming site, lots of maagzine sub offers, gaming, and an online catalog/store.
Back in 2001, the online unit cut staff and began to focus on pushing users to premium subscription services, including video content. According to the PLAN Annual Report filed this March, the principal sources of Playboy Online Group’s revenues now come from subscription revenues for websites offering unique Playboy branded content, e-commerce sales of Playboy branded and other consumer products, and advertising and revenues generated by international licensing transactions for websites outside of the United States–like the site operated in partnership with Korea Telecom Hitel.
Playboy is clearly very focused on exploiting its brands, selling across multiple media to its core audiences, which include women, and getting into international in a big way. These are lessons all information companies should be learning, but Playboy seems to have found ways to focus in that really suit their brand–and their bottom line.