Playboy Enterprises

Playboy Enterprises, Inc. is an American privately held global media and lifestyle company headquartered in Beverly Hills, California. It was founded by the late Hugh Hefner to initially manage the Playboy magazine empire. The company is structured with two primary business segments: Media (which manages content for print, digital, social, mobile, TV and radio platforms) and Licensing (which licenses the Playboy name, Rabbit Head design and other trademarks, logos and images for use in connection with consumer goods, venues and events).[3] Today, Playboy Enterprises, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, engages in the development and distribution of content, products and high-profile events that embody both “eroticism and fine art.”[4] The Playboy rabbit logo is one of the most widely recognized and popular brands in the world.

Playboy Enterprises, Inc.
Playboy Enterprises International, Inc.
New Playboy, Inc.
IndustryLifestyle Mass media
Founded1953 (1953)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
FounderHugh Hefner
HeadquartersBeverly Hills, California, U.S.
Area served
Key people
Ben Kohn, CEO
ProductsPlayboy Magazine
Playboy TV
Playboy Online
Adult entertainment  
Revenue $215 million (2010)[1]
$-36.30 million (2010)[1]
$-48.50 million (2010)[1]
Total assets $196.83 million (2010)[1]
Total equity $-22.30 million (2010)[1]
OwnerIcon Acquisition Holdings LP [2]
Number of employees
165 (2013)[3]

Sales of Playboy magazine peaked in 1972 at over 7 million copies.[5] By 2015 the circulation had fallen to 800,000.[6] The company now derives over 40 percent of its revenues from its media division, and about half of the revenue comes from the licensing of consumer products.[7]

Playboy Enterprises, Inc. is based in Beverly Hills, California, having closed its former headquarters in the top office floors of 680 N. Lake Shore Drive in Chicago, Illinois, in April 2012.[8] In January 2013, the company said it employed 165.[3]

Brief history

Playboy Enterprises was created in 1953 as the HMH Publishing Co., Inc. for the purpose of publishing Playboy. The business quickly expanded and began to develop and distribute a wider range of adult entertainment. It went public in 1971. Christie Hefner, daughter of Hugh Hefner, was the President from 1982, Chairman of the Board and CEO from 1988, until she left the company in 2009. In late 2015, it was announced that the print edition of the magazine would drop all centerfolds. The first magazine without centerfolds was the March, 2016 edition, released in early 2016.

The Age reported in October 2008 that, for the first-time ever, Hugh Hefner was selling tickets to his celebrity-filled parties to offset his cash-flow problems due to setbacks Playboy Enterprises had suffered, including decreasing Playboy circulation, decreasing stock value, and ventures that have yet to turn a profit.[9] Christie Hefner released a memo to employees about her efforts to streamline the company's operations, including eliminating its DVD division and laying off staff.[10]


Playboy also ran forty Playboy Club properties from 1960 to 1986. Playboy operated casinos in England from the mid-1960s to 1981, when they lost their operating license. Playboy also operated a casino in Nassau, Bahamas from 1978 to 1982.[11] From 1981 to 1984, the company was a partner in the Playboy Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Playboy Enterprises was denied a permanent New Jersey gaming license and was forced to sell out to its partner, which changed the name of the hotel/casino to the Atlantis Hotel and Casino. The company returned to the nightlife business with the Playboy Club at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, which opened in 2006[12] and closed in 2012.[13] Other Playboy Clubs opened in Cancun, Macau, and London in 2010 and 2011.[14] Meanwhile, the company says it will open at least three Playboy stores in each of the next three years.[15]

The company's Playboy Foundation provides grants to non-profit groups involved in fighting censorship and researching human sexuality.

Playboy Entertainment

The Playboy Entertainment Group is a division of Playboy Enterprises that includes Playboy TV and Playboy Online, which is the fastest growing revenue source for the company. The Entertainment segment develops, produces, acquires, and distributes various feature films, magazine-format shows, reality-based and dramatic series, documentaries, live events, and celebrity and playmate features for television networks, Web-based entertainment experiences, portable podcast entertainment, DVD products, and online gaming under the Playboy and Spice brand names.

As of December 31, 2005, it owned, operated, or licensed 23 television and movie networks under Playboy TV, Playboy TV en Español, and Spice in the United Kingdom, South East Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, and Japan. Its programming is carried in the U.S. by all six of the major multiple system operators and both of the satellite direct-to-home, or DTH, providers. In 2005, a Playboy satellite radio station launched on Sirius Satellite Radio.

The company offers multiple subscription-based Web sites and online video-on-demand theaters under the Playboy and Spice names. It also operates e-commerce Web sites, including for purchasing Playboy-branded fashions, calendars, DVDs, jewelry, collectibles, back issues of Playboy magazine, and special editions, as well as non-Playboy-branded products; and, which offers adult-oriented products, including DVDs, lingerie, and sensual products. The Company has online operations consisting of a network of websites with an established and growing subscriber and revenue base.

The Company distributes its original programming domestically in DVD format. More recently, it began developing portable podcast content. It also distributes various non-Playboy-branded movies and continues to re-package and re-market its catalog of previously released DVD titles. Company-wide marketing operations consist of Alta Loma Entertainment, the Playboy Jazz Festival and Playmate Promotions. Alta Loma Entertainment functions as a production Company that leverages its assets, including editorial material, as well as icons such as the Playmates, the Playboy Mansion and Mr. Hefner, to develop original programming for other television networks.

Its revenue is derived from Domestic Television, International Television, Online, and other sources. Currently the Entertainment division accounts for over 60% of the revenue of the Playboy Enterprises.[16]

Playboy Online

Playboy Online
Type of site
Magazine website, erotica
Available inEnglish
OwnerPlayboy Enterprises, Inc.
(managed by MindGeek)
Created byPlayboy Enterprises, Inc.
Alexa rank 37,379 (June 2018)[17]
Current statusActive

Playboy Online (or is the internet business segment of Playboy Enterprises, Inc. It falls within the Playboy Entertainment business segment, which is the largest of the company's three business segments. Playboy Online is the fastest growing revenue line item in Playboy Enterprises, accounting for 15% of corporate revenue. Its revenue comes from both online subscriptions to Playboy Cyber Club and from E-commerce, including internet advertising.

Playboy Online should not be confused with the now-defunct Playboy Digital, which began production late in 2005 as an electronic duplicate of the physical print offerings within the publishing group.

Available online since 1994, Playboy Online produces original content that mostly differs from the print editions of the publications produced by Playboy Publishing. It regularly features themed online pictorials such as women who work at Olive Garden, Wal-Mart, or McDonald's

Playboy Licensing

The Licensing segment licenses the Playboy name, the Rabbit Head design and other images, trademarks, and artwork to “appear on a wide range of consumer products including apparel, accessories, footwear, lingerie, jewelry, fragrances and home fashions.” Its licensed products generate “more than $1 billion in global retail sales in more than 150 countries and territories.”[18] Spirits and vapor products are among Playboy's latest licensing ventures. The spirits are made by VuQo.[19][20]

The Company's trademarks and copyrights are critical to the success and potential growth of its business as “Playboy is one of the most recognized, celebrated and popular consumer brands in the world.”[21] In 2013, Playboy ranked number 56 among the Top 150 Global Licensors by License! Global magazine.[22]

Currently the Licensing division accounts for about 50% of the revenue of Playboy Enterprises.[23]

PB Lifestyle of India

PB Lifestyle Ltd. is promoted by Mumbai-based entrepreneurs. Following their interests in media and entertainment, PB Lifestyle Ltd. has signed the master and exclusive franchise/licensee agreement with Playboy Enterprises USA (for ten years) for the use of the Playboy brand in India for various businesses.[24] PB Lifestyle representatives have also stated that the company will adapt the Playboy brand to suit India's decency standards and will not allow content/material that is deemed 'lascivious or appealing to prurient interests'.[25]

Playboy Publishing

The Publishing segment publishes Playboy magazine, a general-interest magazine targeted to men; special editions, books, and calendars; and the licensing of international editions of Playboy magazine. Playboy magazine is the largest monthly men's magazine in the United States and in the world, based on the combined circulation of the U.S. and international editions.[26] Playboy formerly published Oui Magazine and Hefner also published Trump Magazine.

As of 2007, the Publishing division accounted for nearly 30% of the revenue of the Playboy Enterprises.[27]

In 2005, the company began producing Playboy Digital which is an exact duplicate of the print version of the magazine. Its initial launch started with 15,000 subscriptions. This is very different from Playboy Online, which produces original content. In 2005, Playboy began print editions in Argentina, Slovakia, and Ukraine bringing the number of international editions to 20.[28]

Investor information

In March 2011, founder Hugh Hefner succeeded in a bid to take Playboy private after 40 years as a publicly traded company. He partnered with private equity firm Rizvi Traverse.[29]

In 2018, less than a year after Hugh Hefner's death, his estate sold its remaining Playboy shares of 33%, worth $35 million, to Icon Acquisition Holdings LP. The money was split between Hefner's widow and his four children.[30]


  1. "Playboy Enterprises, Inc. Reports 2009 Results". Retrieved 2010-08-05.
  2. "Hugh Hefner's Family Sells Their Remaining Shares in Playboy". Fortune. 2018-08-03. Retrieved 2019-10-26.
  3. "The New (Old) Playboy". Men's Fitness. 2013-01-24.
  4. "To Playboy magazine, sophistication is the new sexy". The Los Angeles Times. 2013-09-14.
  5. "The Girls Next Door". The New Yorker. 2006-03-20.
  6. "Hugh Hefner, Who Built Playboy Empire and Embodied It, Dies at 91". The New York Times. 2017-09-27.
  7. "Rebuilding Playboy: Less Smut, More Money". The Wall Street Journal. 2013-02-20.
  8. "Playboy's Move to Los Angeles Set for April 30". 2012-01-17.
  9. "Party's over for Playboy king Hugh Hefner." The Age October 18, 2008. Retrieved 30 October 2008.
  10. "Playboy Enterprises Does Restructuring; Shutting DVD Division For Online Focus; 80 Positions Will Go." Yahoo! Finance 15 October 2008. Retrieved 30 October 2008.
  11. Playboy Chips and Tokens - The Rise and Fall of the Bunny Chip
  12. Bracelin, Jason (2006-10-07). "Bunnies Are Back: Palms' Fantasy Tower takes Playboy Club concept to new heights". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
  13. "Playboy Club at Las Vegas' Palms casino closes". USA Today. AP. 2012-06-04. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
  14. Kee Hua Chee (2001-06-27). "Playboy Bunnies a tourist attraction". The Star. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
  15. (Dead link). MSN. Archived July 16, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  16. " Traffic Statistics". Alexa Internet. Retrieved June 12, 2018.
  17. "IMG Brands and clients".
  18. "VuQo Inc. Announces Global Licensing Agreement With Playboy Enterprises". 2013-07-14.
  19. "Playboy Vapor Collection".
  20. "IMG Brand and clients".
  21. "Top 150 Global Licensors". License! Global. 2013-05-03.
  22. "Rebuilding Playboy: Less Smut, More Money". The Wall Street Journal. 2013-02-20.
  23. Times, Economic (Nov 1, 2012). "Playboy Enterprises plans to open clubs, cafes and retail stores in India". The Economic Times. Retrieved 16 December 2012.
  24. UK, BBC (Nov 1, 2012). "India to get first Playboy Club in Goa". BBC news. Retrieved 16 December 2012.
  25. "Playboy Enterprises, Inc". FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2006. Retrieved April 7, 2007.
  26. "Form 10-K for PLAYBOY ENTERPRISES INC". 2007-03-16. Archived from the original on March 27, 2007. Retrieved April 7, 2007.
  27. "2005 Annual Report" (PDF). Playboy Enterprises, Inc. 2006-03-06. Retrieved April 7, 2007., pg 4.
  28. "Playboy Enterprises, Inc. Announces Closing of Acquisition by Icon Acquisition Holdings, L.P." (Press release). 2011-03-04. Retrieved 2017-06-04.
  29. "Hugh Hefner's Family Sells Their Remaining Shares in Playboy". Fortune. 2018-08-03. Retrieved 2019-10-26.
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