For years, Playboy has held its iconic position at the crossroads of culture and sexuality. This unique stance has given it the ability to evolve alongside the dynamic shifts in how content is created and consumed. At the center of Playboy’s evolution, as described by Reese Lasher, Senior Director of Brand Marketing at Playboy, lies an unwavering commitment to the creators. It’s the heartbeat that has sustained the brand for decades.
“Playboy has always been a platform for creators—the world’s most iconic writers, photographers, models, artists and thinkers of the time had total freedom to express themselves through our pages,” Lasher began, emphasizing the brand’s long-standing history. “The way our platform shows up in the world has changed—as technology and the way people create and consume media has changed—but our purpose and position has not.”
A pertinent question arises: in an era where individuals can be their own publishers and distribute content on a whim, how does a titan like Playboy remain relevant? It’s all about understanding the needs and aspirations of modern creators.
“We will always advocate for creative freedom and sex positivity as our business evolves. Our creator-led platform is born from those values. Creators can choose what content they share, how much they charge for it, who they engage with and how they express themselves,.” Lasher explained.
The ethos of the creator economy rests on authenticity, freedom, and empowerment. By aligning with these values, Playboy isn’t just preserving its legacy; it’s elevating it. The brand isn’t merely adapting to a new era but is actively shaping it, drawing from its rich past while crafting a future that caters to the modern creator.
Far from a mere content platform, Playboy’s digital avenue offers its creators the autonomy to determine their narrative. This means they’re in the driver’s seat, charting their journey. Playboy’s creator-led platform is a direct reflection of the brand’s core values, offering creators a genuine choice in the content they present and produce, from the pricing structures they opt for, their engagement strategies and their modes of expression.
An essential aspect of this empowerment, and one that’s deeply entwined with Playboy’s history, is the brand’s stance on sexuality. While the digital platform does not mandate any particular form of expression, it stands as a safe space for creators to explore and express their sexuality if they so choose.
“Our creators have total autonomy,” Lasher emphasized. “And while nudity is not at all required for creators on our platform, it is embraced and celebrated because we believe that expressions of sexuality can be very empowering and positive.”
How Playboy Partners with Creators
“The creator platform is Playboy’s hero product, but we have a number of business ventures that work in tandem with it,” Lasher began, emphasizing the co-existing ecosystem that allows the platform to thrive. “Our creators have opportunities to participate in fashion and editorial photo shoots, attend our events, partner with us on philanthropic initiatives and work with our licensing partners. There’s a lot of meaningful exposure that comes with those opportunities.”
Beyond just the brand’s cachet, Playboy has fashioned its platform as an end-to-end ecosystem where creators aren’t left to navigate the digital maze alone. Lasher elaborated, “Playboy offers a robust Discovery engine, opportunities to model in Playboy photo shoots, philanthropic partnerships, lunch and learns, invitations to Playboy events, unique content opportunities, and various ways to connect with our community of like-minded creators.” Playboy serves as more than just a platform—they are taking on the role of a career catalyst, helping creators along the way.
But Playboy’s commitment to its creators extends beyond just exposure. The brand has always stood as a community, and this camaraderie is evident in the myriad opportunities offered to those in its digital realm. “We also help our creators maximize their earning potential through education, whether we’re helping them navigate the platform, providing marketing tips and tricks or coaching them through career development opportunities. We value our creators and continue to put our resources behind them in order to help them reach their goals,” Lasher explained.
One standout feature is Playboy’s commitment to education and professional growth. Recognizing that success in the creator economy requires more than just a platform, Playboy equips its creators with the tools to thrive. By empowering their creators with knowledge, they become well-equipped for sustained success. “The platform can be an extremely powerful revenue stream. We’ve seen that fans have a huge appetite for authentic content from their favorite creators and are also very interested in forming personal connections with them,” Lasher shared. “We provide many tools within our platform to help creators earn meaningful amounts of money. Some have used their earnings to pay their entire college tuition or to pursue independent business ventures. Playboy gives creators the opportunity to realize financial freedom, foster their creativity and pursue their dreams.”
The focus on community building is pivotal. By fostering an environment where creators can connect, learn, and collaborate, Playboy not only enhances individual prospects but enriches the broader community fabric.
Playboy isn’t just a platform, they serve as a partner with resources that are tangible and intangible being channeled towards creators achieving their aspirations. “We’ve implemented features like our custom dashboard that each creator can use to see how their content is performing in real time. This provides our creators with all the tools they need to be successful,” Lasher shared. “The dashboard is a work in progress, and we’re actually currently developing more robust tools for our creators to glean more advanced insights.” These ever-evolving resources place Playboy in a unique position in the creator economy.
As the content landscape is always evolving so are fans’ appetites for authentic content. Playboy has always been an inclusive space, but their creator-led platform is designed specifically to be inclusive for creators from various backgrounds and identities.
“Playboy has always been a champion for marginalized groups and the creator platform is no different. We value inclusivity and want everyone to have the opportunity to be a part of the Playboy world, to be able to express themselves freely and to have the chance to attain financial freedom.”
While an undeniable eagerness among creators to connect on a more person level, Playboy has put the power into the hands of their creators. At the same time, “Playboy also has the power to elevate the exposure of marginalized creators and we take that privilege and responsibility seriously, keeping it in mind at every turn,” Lasher shared.
Playboy offers a suite of tools tailored for revenue optimization, to ensure that creators have the resources to maximize their earnings. With creators channeling their earnings from the platform into their education or independent business ventures, it’s clear that creators can use their earnings for meaningful pursuits.
The team at Playboy has built a platform capable of catering to the diverse range of content its creators produce. “Fans can pay their favorite creators for exclusive access to photos, messaging and live streams, just to name a few of the tools creators can use to monetize their content” explained Lasher.
And it’s not just about the range; it’s about quality and relevance. The tools available cater to the burgeoning desire of fans to connect on an intimate level with creators they admire. By facilitating these connections, Playboy is not just enabling creators to monetize, but is enriching the fan-creator relationship.
Playboy continues to build on their commitment to foster deep, meaningful connections with the help of new features. “Our latest feature is a 1-on-1 video call,” she said. “This addition allows creators to connect with their fans on a deeper level.”
With numerous creators finding not just a stage, but a launchpad for their dreams, the platform is burgeoning with success stories. Reese Lasher, Senior Director of Brand Marketing at Playboy, recently shared tales of triumph that underline the platform’s transformative power.
Topping the list is Madisyn Shipman, a familiar face from the Nickelodeon hit sitcom, “Game Shakers.” Madisyn’s journey is a vivid representation of the platform’s potential and Lasher shared that Madisyn “serves as a testament to how powerful the platform can be”
But it’s not just about numbers or engagement metrics. Madisyn’s success is deeply intertwined with the tangible outcomes the platform has facilitated for her. “Madisyn has established enough financial freedom to fully fund her music career,” Lasher added. “As her fans support her on the platform, she’s able to continue to give back to them through new music and new music videos.”
While Madisyn’s narrative is intertwined with entertainment, Playboy’s platform is versatile, assisting creators across diverse aspirations. Emily Cocea is another creator that stands as a testament to this versatility. “Emily has paid her entire college tuition with her earnings and is considering pursuing multiple post-graduate degrees as well,” Lasher shared. “It’s amazing to see Playboy creators achieving greater success thanks to the money they’ve made on the platform.” The financial backbone the platform offers has allowed creators like Emily to dive even deeper into academic pursuits.”
As Lasher narrated these tales of success, a clear pattern emerged. Playboy’s digital platform is not merely a repository of content or a passive revenue stream. It’s an active enabler, a catalyst propelling creators towards their goals. Whether it’s launching a music career or pursuing academic excellence, Playboy has proven its mettle as a dynamic ally for creators.