Last week entertainment subscription service Playster announced its official launch in the U.S., a market that has faced some major shifts in ebook subscription over the past year. Oyster closed in September amid reports that ebook subscription services actually lose money the more users read. And despite predictions of massive adoption of services like Kindle Unlimited and Scribd, ebook subscription remains a relatively niche market for U.S. publishers.
Despite these challenges, Playster is confident its unique mix of media will change the ebook subscription game. Along with ebooks, Playster subscribers can access audiobooks, music, TV shows, movies, and video games for $24.95 a month. That leads to powerful discovery opportunities that book publishers won’t find anywhere else, says CEO Philip Keezer. In the following Q&A, Keezer shares what differentiates the Playster model and why it won’t be going the way of Oyster any time soon.
How can publishers benefit from putting their titles on Playster?
Playster allows books to be on an even playing field with movies, songs, and games, allowing publishers to market their titles to a much wider audience than normal with the innovative technology that incorporates our recommendations system. This system involves a cross-pollination of media types, meaning members may be intuitively recommended a book if they've just watched a movie on a similar theme.
We've found that around half of our members who came with the intention of signing up for a single media type decided to upgrade to the comprehensive package. Therefore we believe that, with Playster, publishers can see alternative media types as opportunities instead of threats. Most recently, we noticed the demand for ebooks and a subscription service like ours when Oyster shut its doors. We saw an exponential increase in subscribers for both our books and comprehensive package.
What type of success have publishers had using Playster?
Publishers have been able to expand their reach using Playster, and in many cases we've also been able to give a 'second wind' to their back catalogue.
What sets this service apart from other subscription platforms?
The all-inclusive model is what sets Playster apart -- members get four types of media in one subscription, which saves them money and makes all entertainment more accessible. Crucially, Playster also offers unlimited audiobooks within the monthly fee (even in the books-only subscription package), which sets us above other services that have reverted to credit systems.