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Coronavirus forces end of Playboy US print edition

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New York (AFP)

Playboy is ending its US print edition after 66 years with the coronavirus forcing the men's lifestyle publisher to accelerate its move to digital.

The magazine known for glossy nudes and promoting the 1960s sexual revolution said the spring edition arriving on newsstands this week would be the last in print, although some special editions may be printed.

"As the disruption of the coronavirus pandemic to content production and the supply chain became clearer and clearer, we were forced to accelerate a conversation we've been having internally: the question of how to transform our US print product to better suit what consumers want today, and how to utilize our industry-leading content production capabilities to engage in a cultural conversation each and every day, rather than just every three months," said a Medium post Wednesday by Playboy Enterprises chief executive Ben Kohn.

"In 2021, alongside our digital content offerings and new consumer product launches, we will bring back fresh and innovative printed offerings in a variety of new forms -- through special editions, partnerships with the most provocative creators, timely collections and much more. Print is how we began and print will always be a part of who we are."

Kohn said the company is growing as a digital company and that "the Playboy brand is more successful than ever before."

"We drive over $3 billion in annual consumer spend worldwide," he said.

"We reach hundreds of millions of eyeballs every year, across all genders. This past year, our focus has been on meeting audiences where they are."

After its peak success in the 1970s, Playboy has struggled in the face of competition and a new digital landscape. It briefly ended nude pictures in 2016 and switched back a year later.

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