Looking to capitalize on its brand recognition and success with original programming such as E! Entertainment Television’s The Girls Next Door, Playboy Enterprises is creating the Playboy Audience Network, a suite of digital partnerships to distribute the company’s lifestyle and video content.
The initial partners in the Playboy Audience Network include YouTube, Metacafe, Break.com, Veoh and Howcast. Widget developer Mixercast will develop custom widgets to assist in the distribution of content to other platforms.
Playboy will create original short-form programming for the network, including Bridget’s Mansion Minute, featuring The Girls Next Door star Bridget Marquardt, and Playboy’s Guy 101, a series of how-to videos for guys.
To kick off its relationship with YouTube, Playboy is launching a dedicated YouTube channel, as well as a contest asking women 18 and older to submit (YouTube-friendly) videos, with the winner getting a trip to the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles, a chance to model in a Playboy apparel catalog and an audition to appear in a future issue of Playboy magazine.
"As one of the most iconic entertainment-lifestyle brands in the world, Playboy is uniquely positioned to leverage video and social-media platforms to create compelling new ways and places for fans to interact with our brand, while also generating innovative marketing opportunities for our advertising partners," said Jeremy Westin, executive vice president of business development for Playboy Media Group, in announcing the expansion.
"With the Playboy Audience Network and initiatives like the YouTube talent search, we want to create more of the interactive engagement in our digital business that we've traditionally been able to provide in the high-touch world of our parties, events, location-based entertainment venues and retail stores," he added.