Playboy goes mobile

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Playboy Enterprises Inc.áhas partnered with Quattro Wirelessáto provide Playboy content on mobile phones.

Users of the mobile site will be able to view non-nude photos of Playboy playmates and read their personal interviews. The mobile site will also grant access to advice column Playboy Advisor, reviews of music, games and books, and the Playboy Joke of the Day.

Quattro adapted the Playboy content for mobile using its GetMobile platform. Most of the Playboy mobile content is synched with the Playboy Web site and updated regularly.

"Playboy is a really good example of the type of customer we work very well with," Quattro CEO Andy Miller said of the partnership. "They wanted to get their lifestyle content to mobile, to build a mobile audience and launch an ad-supported platform and we do all of that. We built their site out, sell their advertising, built their ad pages, and provide one dashboard for measurement û site metrics as well as advertising metrics."

The mobile site features sponsors such as AXE Vice body spray and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Advertising is geared to appeal to the young males that make up most of Playboy.com's readership.

Miller reports that the mobile site, in soft launch for the last few weeks, already has a large audience, thanks to the recognizable Playboy brand name. Quattro built a redirector that drives any mobile search for "playboy" to the official site, and the mobile company is also leveraging SEO and SMS technologies.

"I think everyone's realizing that they need a mobile strategy," said Miller. "You do see a lot of magazines and magazine-type sites [with mobile offerings], and they are creating another channel to get their content out there that's bringing in another layer of advertisers who maybe didn't advertise on the wire site. It's something else for sales guys to sell, and the types of advertisers are a little different.

"Direct response guys are loving mobile," Miller added. "Our click-through rate for mobile is ridiculously high: if we have a poor campaign it still averages 3% click-through."

Total paid circulation for the print edition of Playboy was 2.8 million in the first half of 2007 - lower than its promised rate base of 3 million. A full page ad in the magazine costs $158,970.

Revenues for the company overall, which includes Playboy TV, Playboy Home Entertainment, Playboy Radio and Playboy Online and Wireless, rose 6 percent over the first half of last year to $85.7 million.

The gain may be partly attributed to a change in operations at Playboy last September, when the company split business operations into separate media and licensing sections. The reorganization was designed to help Playboy, Chicago, leverage growth in digital content and merchandising.

Quattro Wireless, based in Waltham, MA, was founded in 2006. Other mobile clients include CollegeHumor.com, StupidVideos.com and Maxim. However, Miller was quick to point out that mobile marketing appeals to a broad range of demographics.

"People think it's just kids, but it's pretty widespread," he explained. "There might be a bit of a gap between the 16-24 age and the 35-50 age, and that's because 16-24-year-olds are hip and are on the Internet and want their content when they want it. But the 35-50 side is Blackberry users and corporate all-you-can-eat data plans.

"As $50 phones with keyboards come out, and people want to get on the Internet with their phones more, we're going to start to see that line really blur," he continued. "The data plan is key, and the carriers offering more accessible, more affordable plans are showing great numbers."

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