CHICAGO - In a move to increase brand recognition, Playboy Enterprises has created the Playboy Audience Network, a collection of partnerships to deliver the company's video content.

YouTube, Metacafe, Break.com, Veoh and Howcast have joined the Playboy Audience Network as partners, and widget developer Mixercast is developing custom widgets to help deliver content to other platforms. 

"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.

Playboy plans to produce 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 men.

Playboy is launching a YouTube channel and a video contest. Women who are at least 18 years old may submit YouTube-friendly videos for a chance to win a trip to the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles, model in a Playboy apparel catalog and audition to appear in an issue of Playboy magazine.

"With the Playboy Audience Network and initiatives like the YouTube talent search," Westin said, "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."