Playster, a digital subscription service offering access to a variety of media content including books, music, TV/films, and video games, has launched in the U.S. The service went live today with a library of more than 250,000 books, and more than 50,000 audiobooks.
The service has a tiered pricing model that allows subscribers to access to a single media channel, such as books, for $9.95 a month. Alternatively, consumers can pay $24.95 a month for unlimited access to all of the company’s media content. While Playster’s music channel costs the same as the book channel for monthly access, Playster does offer a single-media pass to movies for $3.95 a month, and video games for $4.95.
Playster, which has been in beta since 2014, has content deals in place with HarperCollins, Harlequin and Simon & Schuster, among other publishers. The service offers access to such backlist bestsellers as American Sniper by Chris Kyle, and Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. Among some of the company's high profile audiobook offerings is Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist. Playster is also offering a free set of headphones and a free Android tablet to subscribers who sign up for the $24.95 all access subscription tier.
The service is entering the e-book subscription media marketplace at time when the book industry is questioning whether this business model is sustainable. Although Scribd recently announced several new content categories, Oyster, another major e-book subscription service, recently shut down. A number of other subscription services, such as FarFaria, Epic! and Disney also offer subscription content for children.
Playster CEO Philip Keezer said his company will give consumers "the widest amount of content across all forms of media." He went on: "Since our beta launch, we’ve added much more content through partnerships across all forms of entertainment, and we will only continue to grow our offerings while keeping our low subscriber fees.”