Playboy readies to offer monthly subscriptions

Cabler to offer 'the first-ever interactive adult movie'

Playboy TV is launching its most elaborate marketing campaign ever, a $500,000 splurge that will try to persuade viewers to buy the network for a monthly subscription rather than through pay-per-view.

Under the rubric “Playboy TV’s Oasis,” the campaign will feature a well-promoted preview of the channel on May 13 offering subscribers a sample of its programming for only 99¢.

For an extra two or three dollars, says Jim English, president of Playboy Networks Worldwide, the subscriber will get a month of Playboy TV’s programming on participating cable systems.

English says he’s convinced that monthly subscriptions “will give a subscriber a better value for his money than paying six or seven dollars for a couple of hours” of pay-per-view programming. His suggested fee for a month’s worth of Playboy TV, English says, is between $10 and $12, depending on the economic conditions of the area where the cable system is located.

Varied promotion

Media buys for the Oasis spot will include some exposure on local TV and radio stations and on the Playboy Web site.

One specific program that’ll get heavy promotion is what Playboy is billing as “the first-ever interactive adult movie,” called “Fast Lane to Malibu,” which premieres May 20.

At six specific points in the movie, the plot can go in one of two different directions. Home viewers will determine which direction through a vote, which they will cast by telephone, fax, or online.

Depending on the vote, the electronic recording of which will be instantaneous, the engineer on duty will choose the proper reel, and the movie will resume until the next signpost requires another vote.

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