Greg Selkoe, CEO of hip online retailer Karmaloop.com and Karmaloop TV, is gearing up for the linear TV launch of Karmaloop by year-end. First stop though is a trip to the White House. All part of an entrepreneurship conference.
It’s actually Selkoe’s second trip to America’s most famous house. He was among 25 entrepreneurs under age 35 invited to a summit in ’09 (other invitees included Daily Candy COO Catherine Levine and Blackboard.com CEO Michael Chasen).
“They invited 75 entrepreneurs to come to the White House, and I got the call last week and was like, ‘Hey, yeah,’” Selkoe recently told us. “This time it’s not an age-based thing. It’s just a bunch of entrepreneurs. I’m really excited to go.”
Selkoe supported Barack Obama’s run for office, filming a PSA for the Vote For Change site that encouraged young people to vote for him as president.
In addition to his Q&A with CableFAX Daily, Selkoe chatted with us about programming plans and made sure that we were clear that Karmaloop TV wouldn’t be a hipster home shopping network.
“I think the type of clothing we sell you’ll see a lot of people wearing it just because we outfit the culture we’re going to be marketing to,” he said. “But it’s not an overt attempt to sell more clothing. We will have some paid programming blocks and during those hours Karmaloop.com is going to buy the programming so that will have some actual direct retail component. Otherwise we would be doing the Shake Weight or something like that which we don’t think works with our audience.”
About 80% of Karmaloop’s programming mix will be movies, with Selkoe saying the flicks will be those that have “shaped and defined” Verge Culture—Karmaloop’s term for the 1st generation that has grown up on the Internet.
“They’re multiracial. They’re multiethinic. They define themselves more by ideas than your typical sort of group that may identify themselves more on superficial areas,” he said of the Verge crowd. “And it is a group that has sophisticated taste and a taste that was trained by the Internet where you have access to all of the world’s cultures from Japanesse anime to Indian Bollywood to ’80s movies from the US to action Kung-Fu movies.”
A new batch of original series from Karmaloop completes the programming mix. A faux-reality show, “Girlhattan,” pokes fun at reality TV with a pair of men in drag playing characters inspired in part by “Jersey Shore’s” Snookie. “They’re an amalgamation of all the horrific things you see on reality TV: the shallowness, the over the top. But it’s done in very tasteless but good taste humor,” Selkoe said.
Other shows include a PG-13 puppet show, “Rat, Rang, Rilla,” inspired by creative director Pharrell William’s life and a talk show hosted by DJ Clinton Sparks.