April 2, 2013
Playboy Keeps Its Clothes On For Apple’s App Store
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
Playboy has finally delivered a digital magazine for iPhone which plays by Apple´s strict App Store guidelines. No, there isn´t any nudity here, though there are plenty of pictures of scantily clad ladies. In fact, there´s nothing you wouldn´t see from the Victoria´s Secret app. Yet, the Good Life guide and all those articles which the magazine is apparently so famous for remain.
"It forces us to use our imagination to be a little bit more creative," said Josh Schollmeyer, Playboy's Director of Digital Content, in an interview with USA Today. "I tell all my photographers every picture has to be one of three things. It has to be romantic, whimsical or sexy."
Like other iPhone-ready magazine subscriptions, the Playboy app is free, but users will have to pay $1.99 a month for up-to-date content. The app also has a free trial mode with limited content available.
Playboy seems to have a good sense of humor about this buttoned-up (as it were) version of the iconic magazine. Upon first downloading and opening the app, a brief video of a bunny-ear´d Playmate struts and poses, then flirtatiously shakes her finger at the screen, as if she´s hinting that you won´t be seeing anything “R” rated in this digital ℠zine.
Each month, Playboy will serve up more of their 20 Questions and Feature articles, as well as regular interviews and other segments for living the “Good Life.” There´s also plenty of pictorial content in the app as well, each photo notably free from pornography, to borrow a famous Steve Jobs quote.
This month´s edition features a Playboy spin on March Madness in a series called “Sweetheart Sixteen,” as well as other series entitled “God Given Gorgeous,” “Miss Social,” and “Playmate Redux.” Readers are given the option to learn more about the models (Nikki Leigh´s secret talent, by the way, is EATING!) as well as save these photos to their camera roll or Playboy Vault, a collection of the user´s favorite articles and pictures throughout the app.
Users can also download previous issues of the magazine as well as other special content from the Vault.
Steve Jobs was an ardent believer that all porn or inappropriate material should never be allowed in the App Store. During a question and answer session during the iOS 4 release event, Steve Jobs famously said: “You know, there´s a porn store for Android. You can download nothing but porn. You can download porn, your kids can download porn. That´s a place we don´t want to go — so we´re not going to go there.”
It´s a claim he made many times; If you want to download porn, go buy an Android device. Though the question of “Is Playboy a porn magazine” is another debate entirely, one has to wonder if Playboy will follow the tack of many other apps and start on iOS before branching out to Google´s platform.
There are some analysts who believe this will be the case, saying just because the women in the iOS-version of Playboy aren´t bearing all doesn´t mean people won´t buy it. Even if there were controls in Android to turn on the nudity, Playboy may choose to stick with the tamer version of the monthly magazine.
A monthly subscription to Playboy will set readers back $1.99. The magazine also offers a 6-month subscription for $10.99 and an annual subscription for $19.99.