Playboy's latest 10K filing offers some new evidence for a claim the company has been making in recent weeksthat it is throwing more resources into the digital side. Offering some data that didn't come out in its fourth-quarter earnings reports or in the company's earnings call, Playboy (NYSE: PLA) (NYSE:PLA) said it increased production costs for exclusive online/mobile programming by 25% in 2008, to $7 million. Online/mobile production costs now account for 14 percent of total production costs, up from 9 percent in 2007. Much of the spending was on "webisodes," typically are three- to five-minute clips, like Interns, a series rolled out at the end of last year about the lives of three college interns at Playboy's New York City offices. The series was sponsored by Audi's Quattro and included content sharing on Quattro sites as as well product placement.
Playboy has struggled with its online identity, and has chosen to stick with its "gentlemanly" brand of adult entertainment as a growing number of hard-core and amateur porn sites pop up. The company's online revenue declined 24 percent last year to $15.6 million.
By Rory Maher