Playboy Magazine Returns as an OnlyFans-Style Creator Platform

A digital version of the print mag (which ended in 2020) will look very different when it relaunches this fall

Part of the new Playboy digital magazine cover, debuting fall of 2023
Playboy (the magazine) is returning with a new digital format this fall

At this point, what is Playboy exactly? The magazine ceased print publication back in 2020. While the company is currently selling merchandise and sex toys (and has a paid “Plus” site with nudity), an online version of the men’s lifestyle mag is now returning, but in a very 2023 kind of way — it’s competing against OnlyFans.

Per Variety, the new web version offers some free content but also lets individual creators charge a monthly fee for access to exclusive content; the creator platform has already been part of Playboy’s offerings since late 2022. As of now, there’s only a cover announcing the new magazine, featuring former Playmate Amanda Cerny.

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You can expect nudity in the revitalized online mag, but not much more. “Many of our creators do not have nudity on their pages,” a Playboy spokesperson told Variety. “While we allow nudity, we do not allow explicit content/pornography…We are not positioning this as an ‘adult’ platform — it’s for everyone, including mainstream creators sharing behind the scenes of their lives.”

While details are scarce, the virtual magazine will feature creators in “editorial features, cover shoots, Playboy fashion spreads and more.” As Gizmodo notes, Playboy won’t directly allow amateur models on its platform; models have to send in an application and be accepted by the company.

The creator platform has seemingly been successful: According to the company, Cerny has apparently earned over a million dollars through the site.

Playboy, as a company, has a rather complex history: The magazine mixed thoughtful writing and journalism with nudity and centerfolds. Late founder Hugh Hefner had a dark side that was exposed in A&E’s recent Secrets of Playboy documentary. And as the company entered the 21st century, it couldn’t quite figure out exactly what it stood for or how it should approach its legacy.

However you look at the newest version, giving the magazine over to its creators (in a financially rewarding way) seems like an interesting and modern approach, and probably more than makes up for the magazine’s new format, which seems more creator-friendly and less about spotlighting the next Gore Vidal.

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