Kara Swisher

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Playboy Goes Geo-Local With Scout App, Even as Iconic Media Company Attempts Turnaround

How about some check-ins at the Playboy Mansion?

That’s not exactly on the menu for a new mobile application being launched by the iconic adult-oriented media company today, called Scout (although BoomTown wishes it were).

Powered by Xtify’s geolocation push notification technology, Scout will be available first in New York and Los Angeles, and initially only on smartphones using Google’s Android mobile operating system.

Users of the Scout app get exclusive nightlife-oriented offers and information about events, clubs and bars aggregated by Playboy’s editors. And when users are near any of these venues, they get push notifications alerting them.

In a statement, Paul Lee, Playboy’s recently installed head of new digital ventures, noted the move was to leverage the famous Playboy brand.

“Scout is a first step in Playboy’s strategy of utilizing new digital platforms to extend our brand in the nightlife arena and to build new revenue streams for the company,” he said.

Playboy could use any help it can get right about now. Yesterday, the company reported a wider loss than expected, due to increasing weakness in its television and publishing divisions, even as it tries to grow via the licensing of assets such as its well-known bunny logo.

Presumably, using that brand to combine relevant content and location-triggered push notifications is yet another attempt to right itself.

Here are two screenshots of the Scout app (click on the images to make them larger):

And here is the official press release:

Xtify Powers Playboy Scout Mobile Application with Location-Based Messaging Technology

Playboy’s Nightlife and Entertainment Content Will Now Reach Users Wherever They Are, Whenever It’s Most Relevant

NEW YORK, November 10, 2010–Xtify, Inc. today announced the release of Playboy Scout, a mobile application enhanced with location-triggered content delivery using the company’s geo-location push notification technology. Playboy Scout is available on Android™ phones nationwide and will soon be launched on other smartphone platforms. The Scout application presents Playboys audience with exclusive nightlife oriented offers and information about events, clubs, and bars which have been reviewed and recommended by Playboy’s editors, and delivers push notifications to users when they are in proximity of venues of interest.

“Scout puts Playboy’s nightlife expertise in the hands of our customers at the time and place they’re most likely to use it–when they’re out with friends and looking for new experiences,” said Paul Lee, managing director of new digital ventures, Playboy Enterprises, Inc. “The Playboy brand and the Xtify platform allow us to offer a compelling value proposition in the location-based space, and we’re excited to leverage Xtify’s innovative messaging technology to deliver new services to customers. Scout is a first step in Playboy’s strategy of utilizing new digital platforms to extend our brand in the nightlife arena and to build new revenue streams for the company.”

Xtify offers the only location-based push notification technology that allows publishers to send notifications to their mobile audience even when the application is closed. To access Playboy Scout, customers simply download the Scout application directly from the Android Market™ to their smartphones to begin receiving mobile alerts featuring content such as VIP access to Playboy events and venue reviews from Playboy’s editors. Xtify’s geo-location platform allows Playboy’s Scout application to alert customers of nightlife events and local points of interest, without the customer needing to open the application.

“Playboy is an authority in the nightlife space with entertainment content that is even more relevant when unleashed from the confines of a computer or magazine,” said Josh Rochlin, CEO of Xtify. “With the Scout application, we are seeing the future of how geo-enabled offerings will allow brands to have a more meaningful relationship with their mobile customers. Xtify’s push notification technology and management tools make it easy for Playboy to deliver the most relevant, timely and highly engaging offers and content to its readers, ensuring a satisfying consumer experience with each notification.”

“When Mr. Hefner opened the first Playboy Club in Chicago, the brand redefined nightlife,” said Jimmy Jellinek, Chief Content Officer, Playboy Enterprises, Inc. “Today the Playboy brand continues to be an authority on nightlife and we intend to leverage that expertise in the digital realm.”

The Playboy Scout application is now live in New York City and Los Angeles with additional cities receiving the alert system throughout 2011. City content will also be updated every few weeks as new locations are reviewed by Playboy’s editors. Additionally, users will be alerted to special offers and perks in select cities across the country.

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When AllThingsD began, we told readers we were aiming to present a fusion of new-media timeliness and energy with old-media standards for quality and ethics. And we hope you agree that we’ve done that.

— Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg, in their farewell D post