Playboy magazine is seriously considering doing away with its iconic print edition. Losses of around $7 million annually may be but one of the reasons. Today, the magazine only publishes 6 issues a year and has a circulation of 500,000 (less than a tenth of what it was at its peak.) An article in MediaPost notes that Playboy was at one time one of the most aggressive and innovative seekers after new revenue streams and developer of lucrative line extensions.
While it’s sad to see a print publication die, one wonders if keeping the print version of Playboy is just a nostalgic impulse, rather than a shrewd financial strategy. At a time when print media is more endangered than ever, it's not always a bad idea to build up a brand, rather than hang onto the past.