Playster Adds Harlequin, Simon & Schuster Titles to Its Subscription Platform

Scribd's deal with Penguin Random House may be getting much of the attention today but they're not the only subscription service to sign a new publisher.

Playster Adds Harlequin, Simon & Schuster Titles to Its Subscription Platform Streaming eBooks Subscriptions Playster announced on Tuesday that it had signed deals with S&S and Harlequin to add additional titles to its subscription platform. The deal includes works from Jennifer L. Armentrout, Robyn Carr, B.J. Daniels, Jeannette Walls, Cassandra Clare, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Doris Kean Goodwin.

Like their deals with Oyster and Scribd, Simon & Schuster's contract only covers its backlist, so it is limited to past best sellers like The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky and Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson.

Harlequin and S&S mark the second and third major publishers to sign with Playster, following the deal Playster signed last month with HarperCollins. All told, Playster now offers 100,000 books.

That is a decent track record for a subscription service which has so far managed to fly under the radar.

When it officially launches later this year, Playster will offer a streaming media service which will serve up movies, music, books, and games under a single subscription. Sixteen dollars a months will buy you unlimited access to a cornucopia of content which Playster says will be accessible on virtually any mobile device and web browser.

Playster Adds Harlequin, Simon & Schuster Titles to Its Subscription Platform Streaming eBooks Subscriptions

The service is in beta right now, and I've been playing with it for most of the afternoon. I'm not exactly overwhelmed by the selection in any single category, but I am beginning to like the diversity. Unlike most subscription services, Playster covers multiple types of content. Netflix does video, Scribd does books (3 types of books, but still books) but Playster offers video, books, and more.

I have the feeling, as I sit here writing this post, that the diversity of the content is more likely going to keep me coming back to Playster than to other services. On days where my attention span measures at "Squirrel!", I can flit from one Playster category to another without getting bored. That feels like it has more value than competing services which offer a better selection in any single category.

That said, the service is not without its problems. It's still in beta, and some things don't work (for example, I can't stream movies). There's also no iOS app (although there is an Android app in Google Play), and a lot of the games I am interested in trying require that I install Playster's app on my PC (the install process failed).

To be fair, Playster is in beta, so they're still working out the bugs before the planned launch this summer. No one could reasonably expect them to have a flawless platform at this point, which is why I plan to circle around and reevaluate the service as the launch day approaches.

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: He's here to chew bubble gum and fix broken websites, and he is all out of bubble gum. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills at the drop of a hat. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

10 Comments

  1. Diana16 April, 2015

    $16 for unlimited content is a good deal, depending on the content. I would be interested to know what the royalty rate is for authors/creators/musicians etc.

    I wonder if they are the same or if it varies.

    Reply
  2. […] HarperCollins Adds Harlequin Titles to Playster (Ink, Bits & Pixels) Earlier this week Simon & Schuster added back-list titles to the multimedia subscription platform Playster, currently in beta. In an expansion of HarperCollins’s own recent partnership with the Canadian start-up, announced just last month, Harlequin adds its own selection of ebooks to the Playster catalog, which also includes movies, TV and games. Related: Penguin Random House Tries Subscription Audiobooks with Scribd […]

    Reply
  3. Mandy20 April, 2015

    I use playster for the book content. I really enjoy the selection and cant wait for S&S to upload all of their content. It does have some issues especially with the search function but like you said it’s in Beta so there are some kinks to work out and I’m sure they are aware of them and working to get it fixed.

    Reply
  4. […] well be a straightforward attempt to scam you out of monthly payments while giving you access to Playster, a legit subscription service that charges $16 a month for access to movies, ebooks, apps, and […]

    Reply
  5. […] Unlimited, only for adults. Or rather, it will be when the beta period is over. As I noted when Playster signed HarperCollins and Harlequin in April, this service is still very much in beta and still unstable. It is only available via the web […]

    Reply
  6. […] on 15,000 titles from Harlequin's backlist. That exclusive had likely expired by April when Harlequin signed a deal with Playster, but the 15,000 titles still made up a huge chunk of Scridb's romance […]

    Reply
  7. Eileen Early5 August, 2015

    Help! I have tried to access an e-book by rosemary ardolina Calvary Cemetery, New Yorkers carved in Stone and was advised by your Help desk to look for your Playtser Resource site before supplying an http: address. I cannot find the Resource site and am very much inclined to cancel. Would like to know how I can read the ardolina book (or books, there are two about Calvary Cemetery).

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder5 August, 2015

      This blog is not affiliated with Playster.

      Reply
  8. Paj13 August, 2015

    Playster.com offers illegal pdfs– like the one of my book– and is probably committing copyright violation on a massive scale. To add to the horror of it all, the DNS name servers for Playster,com, when you look up their numbers on WHOIS, all lead to Amazon. So the two companies are at least closely linked– and could actually be– the same thing?

    Reply

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