In yet another publishing-industry retrenchment, Playboy (NYSE:PLA) has announced that it will scale back on its base rate. Going from a circulation of 3.15 million monthly issues to 3 million may not seem like much, but it's the company's first step back in 10 years.

Then again, it's not fair to call this a retreat. The company's advertising rates are going up by 8%, and its namesake magazine's cover price will be going up by a buck starting with the January issue. So let's not fall for the lower base rate here. Like many of its photogenic centerfolds, the company is looking to accomplish more with less.

In fact, it will go from 18 different international Playboy editions to 20 once it adds Argentina and Ukraine to the mix. In yesterday's filing, Playboy also announced a video-on-demand deal with Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA).

Reining in the base rate makes sense, given that the company began to offer its popular magazine online just last month. Playboy has been a dot-com institution for ages, but this is the first time that the actual magazine will be available on the Internet in its entirety.

Some may argue that Playboy is late in migrating its entire publication online, but the adult-entertainment giant's timing is actually pretty good. A lot of the press surrounding the recent closings of popular peer-to-peer file sharing networks has been dedicated to its impact on the music industry. Sure, the move is a positive for major record labels such as Warner Music Group (NYSE:WMG) and Vivendi's (NYSE:V) Universal, but a lot of smut was also being swapped through these now-darkened gateways. That may help the online purveyors of hardcore pornography such as New Frontier Media (NASDAQ:NOOF) or the website arm of Rick's Cabaret (NASDAQ:RICK) more than a company like Playboy, which favors the softer side of adult entertainment. But it should still be a favorable influence for the company that Hugh Hefner built.

So, sure, let the headlines have you believe that Playboy is actually scaling back. We all know that it's got more than a few appointments lined up for augmentation surgery on its business model.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz recently wrote about sin stocks. He has no idea whether online centerfolds come with staples. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story. T he Fool has a disclosure policy. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.