Playboy Stripping Down on DVD

It's a well-known industry "secret" that the adult film industry has been responsible for much of the growth of new formats. First VHS and then DVD, the mainstream industry owes a lot to the adult sector.

However, in a strange twist, the floundering Playboy empire is planning to exit the DVD business over the next few months, concentrating on digital downloads instead.

"We will continue to deliver more of our content digitally, using our assets across multiple distribution platforms and adding more a la carte offerings," CEO Christie Hefner (from an SEC filing) wrote in a memo to employees. "Given the declines in the DVD market, we will exit that business in phases over a few months to concentrate on selling that content online."

Here's some reasons for the ditching of DVD, even as other adult studios commit to Blu-ray.

It can't be denied that some consumers would prefer the anonymity supplied by Internet and video-on-demand downloads. You can't really run to your local Walmart for your bunny fix.

Why would Playboy skip over Blu-ray entirely? Would their soft-focus soft-core films lose their appeal in HD? Or, are Playboy's budget woes more to blame. Perhaps, they're more concerned with backing a format that might not make it mainstream.

It can't be denied. The Internet is the go-to source already, so why not take advantage of that. What do you think, though? With the seemingly endless supply already online, will people pay for Playboy? —Leslie Shapiro

APC Magazine