Toronto-based Playster announced on Wednesday that it was expanding its catalog. This subscription entertainment service has inked a deal with Findaway to add 50,000 audiobook titles to Playster’s service.
Currently in beta, Playster charges $16 a month for a subscription service that offers unlimited access to a broad range of content. While Oyster and Scribd are focused on books (audiobooks, ebooks, graphic novels), Playster also boasts a catalog of movies, games, apps, and music, as well as an ebook catalog of over 100,000 titles.
And it will soon offer audiobooks, including titles from titles from Penguin Random House. The audiobook catalog is set to launch with the Playster App later this year, and will include titles such as Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl and George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones. Titles like Amy Poehler’s Yes Please and Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist (from HarperCollins) will also be included/
In a way, Playster is like Kindle Freetime Unlimited, only for adults. Or rather, it will be when the beta period is over. As I noted when Playster signed Simon & Schuster and Harlequin in April, this service is still very much in beta and still unstable. It is only available via the web browser, but Playster does plan to release mobile apps later this year.
I wish them luck, but one problem with services like this is that they are in a double bind. They have to sign content deals, and then they have to gain the attention of consumers. That last could present an insurmountable goal for Playster. As we learned from the Codex Group’s survey in May, even the more successful services like Scribd and Oyster are unknown to most consumers. Playster, on the other hand, is so obscure as to be invisible. That does not bode well for its success.
P.S. This is Findaway’s second contract with an ebook subscription service, following a similar deal with Scribd last November.