Long-ailing Playboy Enterprises turned a modest $2.3 million profit last year and is on track for another good year. In the digital anything goes age, when the bottom has fallen out of the soft core porn business, Playboy magazine is down to 2.9 million readers—fewer than half it once had. The parent company, however, has found some income from cable TV and Sirius radio and is now poised to launch Playboy U.
Playboy U is a website, like MySpace, that allows participants to chat with each other and post videos. The gimmick is that only students with .edu e-mail addresses can get in. The Yahoo article quotes Adam Gibson, a 24-year old public relations major at West Virginia University extolling the site: “They do a really good job at blending in the Playboy lifestyle with the student.”
I am sure this represents a leading indicator of some kind of cultural shift on campus, but what?