Playboy coming to iPad, with a new set of rules? Recently, media icon and Playboy magnate Hugh Hefner tweeted that the full, uncensored Playboy magazine would be coming to the iPad in March, along with the full catalog of back issues going back to the magazine’s beginning. While this is good news on it’s own for purveyors of classy publications, it brings with it a whole host of questions about what this means for Apple’s content policies on iOS devices.
Currently, publications on the iPad are sold by their publishers as apps in the App Store. This arrangement is fine for many types of periodicals, but the App Store’s strict no pornography policy makes releasing a publication like Playboy through this channel impossible.
Apple has taken some heat in Europe in fact as some very mainstream publications there feature nudity and are therefore not welcome to appear in the App Store. Up to this point it has been Apple’s position that if you want to deliver this type of content to iOS users, you should do so via the web browser.
So, does Hef’s tweet indicate that Apple is loosening up it’s longstanding restriction? Will porn be allowed on the App Store?
I don’t think so. If you’ve been following iPad news lately, you’ve likely heard of ‘The Daily’, a rumored in progress publication that is something of a pet project of Rupert Murdoch. While a major new made-for-iPad publication is newsworthy itself, the buzz mostly comes from the rumors that ‘The Daily’ will be debuted alongside an entirely new monetization model on Apple’s platform and possibly an entirely new storefront as well.
Taking this information alongside Hef’s announcement, and I think we can fairly make the following leap:
Apple is definitely planning on introducing a whole new way for their users to access newsstand type publications. Not only will they now give those publishers the option of monetizing content on a subscription basis, but they will also be giving those publishers the freedom to offer content without worrying about Apple playing morality police.
This will be big news here, but even bigger news in Europe where it will affect a much larger portion of the mainstream media there. And by making it a unique storefront, outside of the App Store, they are able to keep the App Store’s zero porn tolerance intact.
I think it is a fair bet that this will be deployed to users in March, just as Mr. Hefner said. We look forward to seeing this story develop, and will keep you updated as we know more.