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Playboy Magazine is Taking On OnlyFans with ‘Elevated Creator Platform’

Although a bit late to the party, Playboy is revamping its iconic magazine, unveiling its first-ever digital cover. The legendary men’s lifestyle and entertainment magazine played a significant role in destigmatising public nudity and pornography, however, the unprecedented rise of platforms such as Onlyfans has since Playboy’s influence dwindle. The magazine has been unable to keep up with the changing times and the needs of the users and shuttered its publishing arm back in March 2020. Three years on, the jaunty little bunny is back and it’s all-digital.

As per the publication, Playboy’s fully overhauled digital-first version will essentially be a “creator platform” for “elevated, secure and exclusive” content. Previously known as “Centrefold,” this new creator platform aims to be a one-stop destination for both adult and non-adult content. Variety reports that there will be a freemium model in place, where some of the basic features/content will be offered for free, while users will have to shell out money if they want full access to behind-the-scenes content and photo shoots.

Charlotte rutherford for playboy
Image: Charlotte Rutherford for Playboy

“Playboy is reasserting its role as the hottest platform for the world’s most creative, daring, sexy, fun and thoughtfully rebellious creators,” Playboy Enterprises said in a press release. To hype up the new announcement, Playboy released a special-edition cover shoot featuring the former Playmate and actress Amanda Cerny. Captured by photographer Charlotte Rutherford, Cerny sits on top of a life-sized futuristic carrot while wearing a platinum bustier top with matching bottoms and platinum bunny ears.

The first full issue is slated to come out later this year and will feature Playboy’s “most successful and up-and-coming creators in editorial features, cover shoots, Playboy fashion spreads and more”. “Since the launch of its premium platform, Playboy has already been publishing personal stories written by its creators about their lives and why they are proud to be on Playboy,” the company said.

A major difference between OnlyFans and Playboy’s new platform is that while anyone can become an OnlyFans creator, Playboy’s creators have to apply and be accepted by its editorial team. Furthermore, Playboy will not be allowing amateur models on its platform. The company’s CEO Ben Kohn said he hopes its creator platform will disrupt the current creator economy “the same way Playboy magazine shook up the publishing industry nearly 70 years ago”.

While talking more about the release, Cerny said in a statement,  “A Playboy creator is someone who is able to embrace their creativity, their sexuality and freely and unapologetically express themselves. I can’t wait to share more of my journey with exclusive behind-the-scenes content with my fans on my Playboy channel.” As per the iconic magazine, Cerny’s photo shoot with Rutherford is a take on “classic tropes to reclaim them in a playful way,” including shots of her as a biker, “gym bunny,” influencer, and “dog mom.”

Alamy stock photo
Image: Alamy Stock Photo

Explaining a bit about the relaunch a Playboy spokesperson stated, “Many of our creators do not have nudity on their pages. While we allow nudity, we do not allow explicit content/pornography…We are not positioning this as an ‘adult’ platform—it’s for everyone, including mainstream creators sharing behind the scenes of their lives”.

For fans of the publication, the move does seem a little out of left field. The success of OnlyFans and other exclusive content platforms has seen the amateur market grow exponentially and Playboy’s ‘professionals-only approach might throw some members off. More importantly, the introduction of the visual-first release means the old ‘I only read it for the articles’ excuse probably won’t cut it anymore. Good luck to you.

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