Playboy’s iPad App: Same Price As Newsstand, But No Digital Gatefold

One of the old jokes people used to make about buying Playboy magazine was that they “just read it for the articles.” Well, when someone buys its new $4.99 iPad app in the iTunes Store, they just might be serious when they say that. Like the earlier Playboy (NYSE: PLA) iPhone app, the magazine has to adhere to Apple’s strict no-nudity policy, so that means no pictorials that bare anything less than what you’d see at the beach. So even though you’re paying the same price as you would at the newsstand, there’s no centerfold. While that wasn’t much of an issue with the iPhone, that was probably because that app only costs $0.99.

In a review of the iPad app, MinOnline finds more to dislike besides the lack of full pictorials and enforced prudery. For one thing, there appears to be little interactivity. “We heard a rumor there was a video in here, and after a lot of digging we found one 30-second clip of the month’s playmate being interviewed. Really?” writes Steve Smith.

Still, Playboy Enterprises, which is currently mulling an offer from founder Hugh Hefner to take the company private, is trying to drive more digital revenues and this is a start. It recently unveiled a “safe-for-work” site called TheSmokingJacket late last month. That site was designed to boost traffic and ad revenues, but it will likely take some time until it achieves any measurable success.