This review focuses mainly on these three media options: Books, Audiobooks, and Music.
Related: 5 Tips for Reading More
What is Playster?
Playster is a media website and app where you can rent UNLIMITED music, movies, book, audiobooks, and games. How much does Playster cost? You can either rent one service for a set price (varies on the service, but audiobooks alone are $14.95 per month) or have access to all services for $24.95.
My initial thought was WOW, for the price of my two audiobooks on Audible I can have unlimited ebooks AND audiobooks AND music for under $25? As a platinum Audible member and a Spotify paid member, I was paying over $30 a month.
Movies and Games aren’t a particular draw for me, but already this price point was impressive and encouraged me to sign up for the free trial.
Pros of Playster:
- Price is a steal – UNLIMITED BOOKS?!
- If you sign up for a 12 month contract, you get an android tablet (This was a huge selling point for me) and headphones
- Playslists for music, books, and audiobooks are well-done and thought out
- Colorful environment and branding are engaging
- Great selection of romance novels (my total comfort food book type)
- App and website for cross-play
Cons of Playster:
- Overall selection of books and audiobooks could be better
- Overall music selection is missing some popular artists (Like Selena Gomez)
- Organization of books doesn’t encourage browsing (can’t narrow into sub-categories easily)
- Once you stop your subscription, you can’t re-lisen to your old books (On Audible, once you bought the book it’s yours)
- Doesn’t perform as well without WiFi
This might be a nit-picking thing, but as an avid Young Adult reader (and as a writer, working on a YA novel) – I don’t like how this category is treated by Playster. Young Adult, Middle-Grade, and younger books are all looped together in the category Juvenile Fiction. From what I can tell in the app, you can’t narrow by genre within those categories. (Let me know if I’m wrong there)
As a believer that Young Adult fiction is about perspective, and not reading level, this really irks me. It’s hard to find a YA book unless you already know the title. This is a little bit of a tangent to the review, but something that was really important to me as a consumer of these materials so I wanted to share that with you as well.
What is the free tablet like? How do I get the free tablet?
To get the Android tablet (dubbed Playster 8), you have to sign a 12-month contract with Playster. When you do, the tablet is shipped to you with Playster pre-installed and matching headphones.
This was my main draw to join Playster, as my iPad Mini was already 5 years old and breaking. I knew I didn’t have the money to afford a new one so through my research I came across Playster’s $0 Combo Box Option and immediately knew it was worth a try. Getting a new tablet while also getting MORE BOOKS (can you tell I love books?) made this a no brainer for me and I’m sure it brings in a lot of customers.
Two main cons of the tablet are that it isn’t as sturdy as my iPad and its operating system doesn’t support Netflix. Other than reading ebooks, I mainly use my tablet for Netflix so that was a little bummer. As a disclaimer, the Playster tablet does get upgraded periodically so if you join at a later date this may not be a concern for you.
Overall I love the interface and think this makes an awesome selling point for the company and a cool incentive to consumers. I use the tablet daily and love it! It fits well in my purse. It is slightly longer than my iPad Mini, and a smidgen thicker.
Disclaimer: I worked with Playster to create this review, they provided the tablet for my consideration.
Playster vs Audible
I prefer Audible for the selection of books. I know on Audible I never have to worry about whether or not they will have the latest release of a series I’m enjoying. There are a few books I’ve been looking forward to reading that are not yet on Playster.
However, as someone that needs to save as much money as possible at the moment – I’ve already chosen Playster over my Audible subscription. For the same price as Audible Platinum, I’m getting unlimited audiobooks and eBooks. While the selection isn’t what I want, unlimited at a good price is what I need for my long commute as I’m typically listening to a new book every week.
Playster vs Overdrive
When I was using my library card and the Overdrive platform to read books, I loved that I could have unlimited books for free. The catch – waiting lists. On Playster there are no waiting lists, which is great when it comes to popular titles.
Playster vs Spotify
There are no ads on Playster since they don’t have a free version. They also, however, don’t have the best selection of music. I enjoy their themed playlists, but I can’t figure out for the life of me how to make my own playlist on the app. For those two reasons, I prefer Spotify.
Coming soon, Playster vs Kindle Unlimited
Stay tuned for an update to this post in the coming weeks. I’ve just joined the free trial of Kindle Unlimited and will add my thoughts to that service as well. Kindle Unlimited lets you stream audiobooks and ebooks for $10 a month.
Thank you all so much for reading this review of the Playster program and how it compares to other popular streaming services. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments and I’ll make sure to get back to you shortly.