The first issue of Playboy magazine with Marilyn Monroe on the cover and signed by Hugh Hefner is displayed at Julien's Auction House in Beverly Hills, California.
Photograph by Frederic J. Brown — AFP/Getty Images

Reflecting a big change in porn economics

By Jen Wieczner
October 13, 2015

Video killed the radio star, and now, the Internet has killed…laddie mag porn?

Playboy Magazine, which became famous for its centerfold spreads of naked women—including Marilyn Monroe, Madonna and Naomi Campbell—has decided to stop publishing nude photos, according to The New York Times.

The switch to “PG-13” images, which will take effect with Playboy’s redesign next March, was largely motivated by the Internet. In the age of Kim Kardashian, naked pictures of women have pervaded the web, easily accessible to a mass audience. At the same time, as people increasingly consume magazine content online on their phones or on social media sites while out in public, Playboy readers objected to pornographic photos considered NSFW: Not Suitable For Work.

“You’re now one click away from every sex act imaginable for free,” Playboy CEO Scott Flanders explained to the Times. “And so it’s just passé at this juncture.”

Playboy already nixed nudity on its website last summer; as a result, traffic to the site quadrupled to 16 million unique visitors per month. The magazine has also toned down its social media postings on Facebook FB , Instagram and Twitter TWTR to comply with those companies’ content sharing policies.

The decision, of course, marks a cultural change in how modern consumers get their jollies, as described by the Times:

For a generation of American men, reading Playboy was a cultural rite, an illicit thrill consumed by flashlight. Now every teenage boy has an Internet-connected phone instead.

 

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