Network on the ‘Verge’3/15/2010 3:58 PM Eastern
Youth-targeted online retailer Karmaloop is looking to reach racially-diverse, tech-centric audiences on television via a new digital-cable network set to launch this fall.
will be multicultural, 18-to-34-year-old “verge culture”
viewers interested in underground and trendsetting
fashion, music, film, art, dance, lifestyle and
entertainment, said Greg Selkoe, CEO of Karmaloop
TV and Karmaloop.com.
Heading up the new channel is former AMC and
Lionsgate programming executive Katie McEnroe,
who said the network would provide operators with
a chance to reach an audience that is abandoning
cable to watch their favorite shows on the Web.
“These kids are color-blind that grew up with the
Internet, but didn’t have a cable network that talked
to them,” she said.
Initially the ad-supported network will predominately
feature theatrical movies, cult film classics
and rarely seen documentaries that targeted a young
Movie titles include
Loathing in Las Vegas, From Dusk Till Dawn, Enter
the Dragon, Belly, Empire Records and Wildstyle.
The movies will be buttressed by original shows
such as The Smash-Up With Clinton Sparks, a in-studio
music and interview show; The Inside Track, a
celebrity/musician profi le show; Tagged, about digital,
graphic and street artists, and Courtside, about
Selkoe said the network already has a built-in audience
based on the success of Karmaloop.com. Th e
site averages 4 million unique visitors per month
and generated $100 million in revenue last year
through the online sale of more than 250 unique,
limited-edition streetwear and verge culture brands
like In4Mation and Hellz Bellz, Selkoe said.
“We own the demographic—these are alpha consumers
and trendsetters who are willing to pay for
the latest clothes and fashions,” Selkoe said. “We felt
that this is natural extension of our brand to go into
the cable business because there really isn’t an MTV
for this generation that’s edgy and underground.
A companion Web site, KarmaloopTV.com, features
short specials and shows, including fashion
and culture focused The Daily Loop, news show Globaloop
and Buyer’s Wire. Selkoe said some of the series
could migrate from the Web to television.
McEnroe said the network is in negotiations with
several cable operators for distribution of the service
on digital tiers, movie tiers or HD expanded basic
tiers but no deals have been done to date.
While there won’t be home-shopping shows,
McEnroe said there would be opportunities to
connect Karmaloop TV on-air programming with
commerce opportunities through the Web site via
clickable ads and other interactive features.