NEW YORK — Playboy Enterprises Inc., which cut out nudity in its print publication this year, has unveiled a new slate of original digital video programming covering topics such as technology, scripted comedy, food and gaming.
On Friday, Playboy’s top execs made a presentation of their new programming at the annual NewFronts, where online media companies promote their web series to advertisers in a model that mirrors the TV industry’s “upfront” presentations of their fall seasons.
At the New York event, Playboy CEO Scott Flanders also announced that the original lengthier programming will be created by a new in-house branded content studio, which will be headed up by the magazine's deputy editor, Hugh Garvey.
Companies like BuzzFeed, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times have similar groups working to create sponsored content for advertisers.
The new direction from short, “snackable” content to videos that are much longer could be a lucrative to the transitioning company, which is betting that it will reach more than 150 million consumers each month.
Playboy noted it more than 32 million users across social platforms, as well as 16 million monthly unique views on Playboy.com.
“We made Playboy.com safe for work,” said chief digital officer Phillip Morelock, who noted that traffic “really exploded” after Playboy removed nudity and adult content because it could take advantage of wider distribution opportunities. “In today’s world of marketing fatigue Playboy breaks through.”
Morelock and Cory Jones, Playboy’s chief content officer, said that since the publication’s relaunch, it has brought the age of its average audience down to 31 years old from 47. They also touted Playboy’s reach on Facebook, stretching to 75 million consumers with video views of 28 million.
Playboy is the “biggest men’s brand in social media,” Jones said. “Playboy is the brand that breaks through for male Millennials.”
Flanders noted that the magazine still features its Playmates, whom he called the "single best brand ambassadors."
Playboy's inaugural original video slate for the 2016-17 season includes a celebrity dinner party series, a show on tech and tech destinations, a Playboy magazine behind-the-scenes series, a cooking and dating show, a mythbusters-style show, a scripted comedy series and a gaming series.
In related news, Playboy revealed Friday that it will soon debut a new Roku channel app.