Time Warner’s Turner and Warner Bros. will test the subscription VOD waters for ‘toon fans with the launch of Boomerang, a service starting at $5 per month that will include more than 1,000 episodes of classic and current series.
The Boomerang service, which is ad-free, draws from the Warner Bros.-owned animation library of 5,000-plus titles from Hanna-Barbera, Looney Tunes and MGM. Shows on the service include “Looney Tunes,” “Scooby-Doo,” “Tom & Jerry,” “The Jetsons,” “Yogi Bear,” “Popeye” and “Magilla Gorilla.” The content will be updated weekly. (Boomerang’s library includes “The Flintstones,” but that show isn’t available at launch.)
The Netflix-style service doesn’t supersede the linear Boomerang TV channel, which Turner continues to distribute to pay-TV providers worldwide and includes many of the same titles. Rather, Turner positions the subscription VOD service as complementary to the product it sells to pay-TV providers.
The Boomerang SVOD service is the exclusive home for new episodes of three popular series: “Scooby-Doo,” “Looney Tunes” and “Tom & Jerry” — so those will not be airing on Boomerang TV. In addition, the service will host exclusive original series; the first are Warner Bros. Animation’s “Dorothy and the Wizard Of Oz,” a new spin on L. Frank Baum’s fantasy classic, and “Wacky Races,” a reboot of Hanna-Barbera’s slapstick-y road-rally series from the late ’60s.
Boomerang is available only in the U.S. It is accessible on the web and via iOS and Android devices for $4.99 per month (with a seven-day free trial) or $39.99 annually (with a 30-day free trial). Turner expects to expand later to more platforms, including Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV.
It’s the second direct-to-consumer OTT play for Turner: Last fall the cable programmer launched the Turner Classic Movie-managed FilmStruck, stocked with classic, foreign and indie movies. Warner Bros., meanwhile, a year ago acquired SVOD service DramaFever, which will power the Boomerang internet-video service and also handle customer service.
Other OTT services are expected from Warner Bros. Digital Networks, which in addition to DramaFever encompasses Machinima, Warner Instant Archive, Blue Ribbon Content and the digital components of the studio’s partnerships with Ellen DeGeneres and LeBron James.
Watch a promo video for the Booomerang SVOD service: