Playster.com launched its new entertainment service platform at the end of last year. The service is subscription-based, offering users access to various kinds of entertainment including movies, music, books, audiobooks and games. Playster has a number of different pricing options, which are worth breaking down here:
Comprehensive: 24.95 USD/mo
Music: 9.95 USD/mo
Books & Audiobooks: 9.95/mo
Uniquely, the service also offers a Playster Combo Box option. Users can get this when they subscribe to a year’s worth of the “Comprehensive” service option, receiving a complimentary Playster-branded Android tablet and patent white leatherette headphones.
Besides the free tech hardware, Playster’s big selling point is the diversity of its media. Unlike competitors Netflix, Spotify, Tidal, Scribd and Audible, Playster can give users access to all the types of media these services offer with a single subscription. This is the site’s big potential, but can it live up to the hype?
Playster’s best content undoubtedly lies in their books and audiobooks library. Both content types can be accessed for the same fee of $9.95/mo: at that price, if you read more than one book a month, it’s definitely worth it. Fans of Young Adult fiction will be in heaven here, and there’s a substantial selection of New York Times bestsellers, as well as sports biographies, how-to guides from the For Dummies series, recipe books and romance novels.
Their audiobooks service is particularly good, with everything from George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones series, to The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, to Aziz Ansari’s Modern Romance. Normally audiobook services charge you per item of content you consume, so listening to multiple audiobooks can get pretty costly if you’re a big audiobooks listener and have to buy lots of credits. With Playster, you can listen to as much as you want for the monthly fee, so you don’t need to worry about choosing an audiobook you’re guaranteed to like for fear of wasting your money.
Playster’s movie selection is decent, but not incredible, which is probably why the subscription price is so low. They have a fairly broad selection of horror films and biopics of jazz musicians, and movies like Vanilla Sky and Revolutionary Road. Interestingly, they have subtitles in many different languages, which I haven’t seen as an option on other sites.
Games-wise, Playster appeals mainly to a casual audience. There are a lot of flash-based games in various genres like Hidden Object, Mahjong, and various Diner Dash style games. If you’re looking for AAA titles you won’t find them here, but for casual gamers looking to pass time on the Subway or at home, Playster might be a good bet.
Finally, Playster’s music selection is quite robust, although they don’t have as many mainstream artists as I would have liked. I really enjoyed their selection of classical music and there was definitely a lot of interesting stuff here—definitely worth poring over in greater detail.
Overall, Playster offers an interesting take on the streaming service. For books alone, the service is very much worth it, especially if you’re an audiobooks fan: their audiobooks probably offer better value than any of their competitors operating in this niche. The service offers good value and interesting benefits with its a la carte media offerings and specially branded hardware. It’ll be interesting to see how this service grows and develops over the course of 2016—Playster is definitely on track to become a leader in online entertainment distribution.