Penthouse magazine
Penthouse magazine to close down its print editionMario Tama / Getty Images

After 50 long years in the business, adult magazine Penthouse is closing down its print edition. The magazine, which ran its first edition in 1965, will now be available only in the digital format.

"This move will keep Penthouse competitive in the future and will seamlessly combine our unmatched pictorial features and editorial content with our video and broadcast offerings," said publisher FriendFinder's CEO Jonathan Buckheit.

The decision comes just months after rival Playboy magazine announced it would not publish any nude photographs as part of its new plan that would be announced in March.

Penthouse is owned by FriendFinder Network, formerly known as General Media, whose parent company was Penthouse International. Founded by Bob Guccione the exclusive men's magazine contained urban lifestyle articles and softcore pornographic pictorials that slowly transformed into hardcore in the 1990s.

Their business has hit rock bottom since its founder Bob Guccione filed for bankruptcy in 2004 and lost control over the company. Penthouse, which once sold over five million copies, now has a circulation of just 800,000. It is no longer publicly audited.

"Reimagined for the preferred consumption of content today by consumers, the digital version of Penthouse Magazine will combine and convert everything readers know and love about the print magazine experience to the power of a digital experience," FriendFinder Network said in a statement.

Among similar magazines, Penthouse was the first to spot they are losing readers because of the free availability of adult content on the internet.

In recent years, Playboy's parent company was also taken private and re-imagined as a licensing business after private equity firm Rizvi Traverse stepped in. A few days ago, the company said it was putting up the Playboy Mansion up for sale for $200m (£140.32m, €183.71m ), but with the understanding that the magazine's 89-year-old founder would be allowed to stay in the mansion for the rest of his life.

Penthouse will also close down its New York offices and be relocated to FriendFinder's Los Angeles offices.