Lindsay Lohan has $1 million, online web masters have a new source of income, and Playboy has a problem, in the wake of revelations that all of the photos from her recent shoot were leaked. Yes. All of them.
TMZ.com is reporting that the news that a Russian hacker found and downloaded the photos to a free site called Worldnet.com has Playboy executives “freaking out.” But the fact that’s the case shows how much Playboy needs to be educated on how media has changed, and the lesson’s coming to their advantage.
First, some housecleaning: there were two leakers: the first a 14-year-old boy who leaked the magazine cover. That was talked about here:
And now the news that a hacker took all of the photos. Fox News explains that the man based in Russia found the files from another peer-to-peer site after a search (either he didn’t say which one or Fox didn’t ask him), and “pieced together” over 200 separate files into one online copy of the Playboy edition that’s now to be released before Christmas.
He says he does not know the original source of the files, but it’s got to be from within Playboy itself, and indeed it may have been done by Playboy staff. It’s just a guess, but an educated one. All files originate on a native hard computer, at least for now. The photos were made and then uploaded to a computer, before someone put them out for digital consumption. But that aside, all of this is working for Playboy and anyone associated with this Lindsay Lohan story.
As of this writing the search term “Lindsay Lohan Playboy Photos” has hit a search volume index of as high as 20 on December 6th, and right now, is hovering between 1 and 2 on Google Trends. That means two things: people are searching for it, and websites are making content about it. It also means that since ‘Playboy” is part of the term, it too gains in buzz and search, and that leads to ad revenue if the website is properly made to make money. For example, Playboy’s own search volume index rose to above 3 on December 8th, after the leak actions.
The other property that benefits from this is The Ellen Degeneres Show, owned by Ellen Degeneres. While search volume for the show has not increased, there’s so much current buzz that by December 15th, look for both “Lindsay Lohan” and “Ellen Degeneres Show” keywords to rise, perhaps to levels like the 20s.
And Lindsay Lohan certainly benefits from all of this. Consider that not only has she picked up a cool $1 million for her Playboy work, her name’s at the top of the buzz meter and for reasons having nothing to do with breaking the law. Moreover Lohan’s proved, once again, that her name moves the buzz needle, and like few other names can do. Overnight, almost, Lindsay Lohan has returned to the top of her game: entertainment.
Finally, when the Playboy Lindsay Lohan issue’s released next week, it will benefit from a load of buzz and by purchased by those (like myself, who don’t have a subscription to Playboy as of this writing), who want a piece of pop-culture history. In a digital World, a real, hard copy of the magazine will certainly be valuable decades from today. It has Lindsay Lohan, the modern Marilyn Monroe, in photos channeling the real Marilyn Monroe.
Hugh Hefner’s a genius.