As someone who has Kindle Unlimited, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Pandora, and makes regular visits to my local RedBox, I was excited to find out about Playster. Playster boasts the world’s most diverse digital catalogue, and considering they provide eBooks, audiobooks, music, movies, and game, that’s probably a fair statement, although it’s unlikely they have the most diverse catalogue in each category. Still, with the temporary account Playster provided me to evaluate their service, I was impressed with the content they have available. Current releases in each category are available along with classics. Playster is still in beta mode, but you can get a free thirty-day subscription to check it out.
Playster is the world’s first all-inclusive online entertainment service, bringing together music, movies, books and games into a single subscription. The service boasts millions of titles in all genres across every media platform, from timeless classics to the newest blockbusters.
Playster’s extensive media library gives users instant, unrestricted access to a wide variety of relevant and exciting titles from anywhere in the world, with the North American and European markets benefiting from the strongest array of content. As well as providing members with the biggest names in entertainment, Playster also offers a social experience and a powerful platform on which to discover new niches.
Playster works on virtually any web-enabled device, and has a limitless potential for growth. Currently in BETA, the Playster app is set to launch in the summer of 2015, paving the way for the service to become the most complete portable entertainment experience on the market.
What I Liked
1. Extensive library. Playster has a lot to choose from, and I’m told new content is being added weekly. Many of the books in their library are not available on Kindle Unlimited. Playster is working with top content providers, including HarperCollins, Simon & Shuster, and Harlequin. They’ve also teamed up with distributor, Digital Entertainment Group, allowing Playster’s subscribers to gain access to DEG’s extensive collection of movies, music, television shows, and video games.
2. Cost. At $25/month, it’s a pretty good value. If you have both Audible and Kindle Unlimited subscriptions, you’re already paying that much without the music, movies, and games. If you only have Kindle Unlimited and Netflix, you’re almost at that without the audiobooks, music, and games. And if you only have a gaming subscription service, you’re likely paying close to $20/month without books, music, or movies. If you sign up for a full year at $25/month, they’ll send you a tablet and a set of headphones for free. And, if you want to add a second household member to your account, it’s only an additional $10/month.
3. Indie authors. One of the best things about Kindle Unlimited is the ability to discover an amazing array of indie authors. Some of my favorite books are written by indies, so I don’t want to give that up. Playster works with indie authors, so readers and writers alike benefit. If you’re an indie author, be sure to check out their page on how to get your books included in the Playster library.
4. Intuitive user interface. The site couldn’t be any easier to use. There is nothing complicated or confusing about it. Click on the desired category and select the book, movie, TV show, song, game, or audiobook you want. It’s as simple as that.
5. Donation to charity. A portion of the proceeds from your subscription is donated to Unicef. So while you get unlimited access to a plethora of entertainment options, you’re helping mothers and babies in some of the poorest countries around the world.
What I Didn’t Like
1. Limited ability to download. Currently, you need internet access to use most of the services, with the exception of ebooks which can be downloaded. Unless you have unlimited data, listening to an eBook while you walk the dog can end up being rather expensive. This also means if you want to download a movie to your tablet to watch on the plane or to entertain the kids on the long drive to Grandma’s, you can’t. At least not yet. A representative from Playster told me there’s a possibility that other media types will be available in the future for offline use, but no timeline is currently available for this functionality.
2. Limited mobile support. An Android app is currently available, but I wasn’t able to test it since I don’t have an Android device. An iOS app is currently under review by Apple. I’ll be able to comment on this functionality after I’ve had a chance to try it.
3. Cost. This is both a positive and a negative. It’s a good value for what you get, but if you don’t use all the features, you could end up paying a lot for the services you do access.
Playster is an intriguing entry into the subscription marketplace, offering a lot of variety, but it’s not quite time to cancel your other services just yet. If and when Playster offers offline capabilities, the marketplace is about to get crazy competitive.
Cost: $24.95/month with a free 30-day trial
Services: eBooks, audiobooks, music, games, movies, TV shows
Limitations: Internet access required
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
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