Availability of PLAYBOY on newsstands is highly dependent on region.
From: Gretchen Edgren <firstname.lastname@example.org>, 18 Nov 2002
Try to find PLAYBOY on the newsstands in many locations. Big difference. Where I live now in Florida with my (new improved model) husband, the only way to get the magazine is by subscription. This is sick (the censorship, not the husband).
From: Dan Stiffler <email@example.com>, 14 Aug 2003
Subject: Taming down PLAYBOY: desirable?
If PLAYBOY, as it is, could be sold at the same places as Maxim and Harper's, then all to the good. But it can't, and to ignore that fact is to ignore an enormous obstacle to improving newsstand sales.
You know, everyone makes a big deal about how Maxim outsells PLAYBOY on the newsstand. Well, duh! It is on virtually all of the newsstands in America. My Kroger carries it. My CVS (drugstore) carries it. Neither carries PLAYBOY. Maxim outsells PLAYBOY on the newsstand because it is on newsstands where PLAYBOY is not. Only the most juvenile can believe that Maxim outsells PLAYBOY because it is a better magazine.
From: Dan Stiffler <firstname.lastname@example.org>, 06 Sep 2003
PLAYBOY leads total sales in the men's magazine category. However, Maxim far outsells PLAYBOY on the newsstand. It's not even close, whereas the overall sales figures are disturbingly so.
It can be fairly argued that the main reason for the Maxim lead is that it is on many more newsstands than PLAYBOY, even with the recent cut from Wal-Mart. Just think about all the places you see Maxim and no PLAYBOY and multiply that nationally. That's a lot of Maxim issues with no competition from PLAYBOY. PLAYBOY loses at the newsstand not because it is an inferior magazine or because it doesn't have Mariah Carey on its cover, but because it is not there.
There may be a difference between a buyer at a Maxim-only stand and a buyer who can chose between Maxim and PLAYBOY. I would guess that many of us here are the kind of magazine readers who go to the newsstand intentionally. We don't buy the majority of our magazines at the 7-11, Kroger, or Target. It seems to me that PLAYBOY might be marketing itself for the impulse Maxim buyer, and I am not talking nudity. I'm talking celebrities on the cover, with plenty of content lines a barkin'. In other words, the Maxim cover... Why market for a buyer who won't be at the stand where PLAYBOY is sold?
From: Peggy Wilkins <email@example.com>, 21 May 2003
Subject: Honor Thy Playmate
I thought it interesting how much I have thought of the fickle newsstand buyer as a "problem" when maybe it would be more useful to think of the subscribers as an "asset". The high subscription rate suggests that people want to subscribe to PLAYBOY, or that they prefer to use subscription as the means to obtain it. Perhaps this means that more effort should be spent trying to gain and retain subscribers. I am sure they are already doing this, but can it be more aggressive and creative?