Playboy Enterprises, home of the famous “gentleman’s magazine” and now a media empire spanning print, television and online, has announced it is to take cryptocurrencies.
Later this year it plans to release a new online payment wallet that will eventually support multiple cryptocurrencies, including the new Vice Industry token (VIT).
Vice Industry promises a shift in the adult entertainment business model where instead of free content, viewers will be paid to consume, and interact with, content. Currently holding its ICO, Vice Industry managed to raise $22 million on the first day of offering its tokens.
With the new wallet expected before the end of the year, Playboy.TV subscribers will be able to pay for videos and other content using the Vice token. Crypto payments will then be rolled out to the company’s VR, gaming and augmented reality platforms. People who still buy the magazine will have to do so in fiat.
Cryptocurrencies and adult entertainment seem a natural fit due to the greater anonymity of payments. Reena Patel, COO of licensing and media at Playboy Enterprises, said that as the “popularity of alternative payment methods continues to grow around the world” the company thought that “it was important to give our 100 million monthly consumers increased payment flexibility”.
However, the use of tokens could transform the way the entire industry functions. VIT will be used throughout the Playboy.TV platform and as well as being able to purchase content, users can earn tokens by interacting with that content – commenting on posts, voting on contests and perhaps even from just watching videos. As Patel says, with VIT users have “an opportunity to be rewarded for engaging with Playboy offerings”.
Media companies will be watching the progress of the Playboy experiment with interest. Currently this online sector is dominated by a few sites which give away content for free but have aggressive advertising. This, in effect, is also how the magazine and newspaper business works too. If Playboy can make it work, we can expect other media companies to quickly follow suit.
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