Playboy drops nudes to expand readership

The company’s CEO said showing skin in its centerfold has become ‘passé.’

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The racy magazine announced that by next year, its models will be clothed, and though poses will still be provocative, its pages will be more modern and demure—at least, for a brand like Playboy.

It’s not the first time the company has taken a more reserved route.

In August 2014, the publication removed nudity on its website, and Playboy said the change made its Web traffic jump from 4 million monthly users to 16 million. The average age of Playboy’s readers dropped from 47 to roughly 30. In May, the company released a safe-for-work app that contains only the articles.

Scott Flanders, Playboy’s chief exec, told The New York Times that “the battle [to make sexually explicit material accessible] has been fought and won.”

“You’re now one click away from every sex act imaginable for free,” Flanders said, “and so it’s just passé at this juncture.”

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