New York, March 20 : Adult magazine Playboy has decided to shut its US print edition after almost 66 years amid the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and will be digital-only publishing house for the rest of the year.

In an open letter on Medium, Ben Kohn, CEO of Playboy Enterprises said that the Spring 2020 Issue, which arrives on US newsstands and as a digital download this week, will be the final printed publication for the year in the US.

"We will move to a digital-first publishing schedule for all of our content including the Playboy Interview, 20Q, the Playboy Advisor and of course our Playmate pictorials," Kohn said.

"In 2021, alongside our digital content offerings and new consumer product launches, we will bring back fresh and innovative printed offerings in a variety of new forms-through special editions, partnerships with the most provocative creators, timely collections and much more," he explained.

The overall global death toll due to the coronavirus pandemic increased to 10,030 on Friday, while the total number of confirmed cases stood at 244,523, according to latest updates by The Johns Hopkins University in the US. The number of positive tests in the US has crossed 13,000, with nearly 195 deaths.

According to the Playboy CEO, the company drove over $3 billion in annual consumer spend worldwide.

"We reach hundreds of millions of eyeballs every year, across all genders. We gained over 4 million new Instagram followers and saw over 50 per cent growth in engagement on our social channels in the past 6 months...

"We grew our digital video subscriptions by almost 30per cent year-over-year and acquired a direct-to-consumer commerce operation that serves almost 1 million active customers every month," informed Kohn.

The news comes at a time when adult entertainment portal Pornhub is giving Italians, Spaniards and French free access to their premium subscription as most people are home owing to new coronavirus threat.

"Pornhub is donating its March proceeds from Modelhub to support Italy during this unfortunate time (model earnings will remain untouched). Italy will also have free access to Pornhub Premium throughout the month. Forza Italia, we love you!," tweeted Pornhub's Canadian parent company MindGeek.

"In light of expanding quarantines, we are extending Free Pornhub Premium for the month to our friends in [Spain and France!]," the company added.

It said that traffic has grown exponentially in affected areas. In Italy, daily traffic increased by 14 per cent.

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