Playboy Teams With Bondi Digital Publishing to Co-publish Digital Project
In the wake of its very successful partnership with Conde Nast on 2005’s “The Complete New Yorker,” Bondi Digital Publishing has teamed with Wenner Media and Playboy Enterprises Inc. for the release of two handsomely outfitted DVD-ROM boxed sets just in time for the holidays. “Rolling Stone: The First 40 Years” features digital editions of every issue since 1967 (that’s 98,000 pages of content) in an easy-to-navigate format, along with a 208-page companion coffee table book. “Playboy Cover to Cover: The 50s” offers every issue from the magazine’s first six years, a 224-page coffee table book edited by Hugh Hefner, and a reissue of the first ever Playboy, with its iconic Marilyn Monroe cover.
Publishing Executive Inbox spoke with Playboy Editorial Director Christopher Napolitano about the publisher’s decision to unwrap the archives, offering an unprecedented glimpse at the magazine’s formative years.
INBOX: How did you get together with Bondi for this latest installment of the Cover to Cover series?
CHRISTOPHER NAPOLITANO: [Bondi co-owner] David Anthony approached our deputy editor, Stephen Randall, in Los Angeles. We were familiar, of course, with Bondi’s New Yorker project. And they saw us as a logical next step.
David Anthony and Murat Aktar, the co-founders of Bondi Digital Publishing, are truly pioneers in the field of digital publishing and we are extremely excited to be working with them on the “Cover to Cover” series.
INBOX: Do you believe Playboy is particularly well suited to this publishing platform? Why?
NAPOLITANO: Because of our tremendous legacy and the strong loyalty of our readers, we’re perfectly suited for this sort of endeavor. We’re also committed to new technology, so we wanted to be involved with Bondi.
Playboy magazine is an American icon with a rich and legendary history. This is the first time our company is digitally archiving for consumer use. Every issue (from the 50s) will be available to the public in one easily searchable database. The instant archive will be comprised of scans of the original pages, and the results will appear just as they did in the magazine.
INBOX: Are there any plans to continue with further Playboy digital editions box sets?
NAPOLITANO: You can expect the release of “Playboy Cover to Cover: The 60s” for Father’s Day 2008, and “Playboy Cover to Cover: The 70s” for Christmas 2008.
INBOX: Through a co-publishing deal, you and Bondi were able to develop a unique product that complements the style and feel of the original magazines. Could you outline the main features of this arrangement?
NAPOLITANO: We do not disclose terms of our deals, but I can say we work well together. This is innovative, so there’s not much precedent for such an arrangement. It’s been a good partnership. We enjoy working with Murat and David.