- Influencer podcasts from stars like David Dobrik and Emma Chamberlain have started in recent months.
- Now four members of the TikTok developer group Sway have launched LA shows, all of which are currently listed in the Top 100 Apple Podcasts.
- As with much of the Sway Boys’ recent content, the podcasts are designed to be shocking.
- “I’m a bit of a shock-seeker and so are many of the guys,” said Michael Gruen, VP of Talent at TalentX Entertainment, who heads the group.
- You can find more stories on the Business Insider homepage.
Influencer podcasts have become a hit and a new group of TikTok stars are leaning on it.
In the past few weeks, members of the TikTok developer group Sway LA (not affiliated with New York Times columnist Kara Swisher’s new tech podcast “Sway”) have released four new podcasts that are currently in the Top 100 Apple Podcasts.
As with much of the Sway Boys’ recent content, the podcasts are designed to be shocking.
Some of Sways shows contain content that appears to be more adult-oriented than TikTok teenagers.
In Sway member Josh Richards’ new podcast “BFFs”, who works with Dave Portnoy of Barstool Sports, the two don’t shy away from using explosives. And Sway House member Bryce Hall noted in a clip on TikTok that it was high when he was taping an episode for the Young and Hung podcast. “BFFs” is currently number 9 in the top charts of Apple Podcasts, while “Young and Hung” is currently the 68th most listened to show in the app.
Here are the latest Apple Podcasts rankings from shows with members of Sway LA:
- “The Rundown”, hosted by Noah Beck and Josh Richards from Sway: # 5
- “BFFs,” hosted by Josh Richards from Sway and Dave Portnoy from Barstool Sports: # 9
- Capital University, hosted by Sways Bryce Hall and investor Anthony Pompliano: # 53
- “Young and Hung,” hosted by Sways Griffin Johnson and “R-Rated Sports Commentator” Bob Menery: # 68
The disrespectful tone of Sways podcasts matches the recent pattern of the group’s advertising controversy after they became famous on TikTok. Several Sway members were arrested for drug offenses in May. Members of the group have drawn the wrath of neighbors for throwing parties during the coronavirus pandemic. And two house members are charged with wrongdoing for allegedly violating Los Angeles COVID-19 guidelines.
Like their attention-grabbing life, the group’s podcast lineup is set to surprise fans and critics alike, said Michael Gruen, VP of Talent at TalentX Entertainment, which leads the group.
“I’m a bit of a shock-seeker and so are many of the guys,” said Gruen. “I’m more excited about these interesting pairings. Break the internet. Getting people to, ‘What the hell?’
It cost a few thousand dollars to build a podcast studio in one of the Sway houses
As for why the group is now starting the podcast, Gruen said the barriers to entry are low. The group’s upfront cost for recording devices was approximately $ 2,500. The group records in shifts once a week at their podcast studio, which is located in one of the Sway LA homes.
“One reason we’re starting podcasting now is because I’ve seen adoption of remote podcasts is higher because everyone is doing the biggest remote podcasts,” he said, noting that it might be easier for the group is to find celebrity guests when you don’t have to travel to accommodate. “We would be fools if we didn’t take this opportunity.”
The timing is right for Sway LA members to capitalize on their TikTok fame as well. Other TikTok stars like Charli and Dixie D’Amelio as well as Addison Rae and Sheri Easterling have produced podcasts with top charts on streaming platforms like Apple and Spotify in recent months. And YouTubers like David Dobrik, Emma Chamberlain and the Dolan Twins have had success in the audio-first format.
Unlike the Easterlings podcast, which is exclusive to Spotify, Gruen wanted to make sure the Sway developers’ content was not tied to a specific streaming app so they could benefit from future intellectual property opportunities.
“BFFs” are marketed on Barstool Sport’s podcasting network, a condition set by Barstool’s founder Portnoy. Gruen said he could not discuss the revenue-sharing agreement for this show due to a nondisclosure agreement, but noted that the rest of the shows are organized by Sway as a “50/50 joint venture” involving each of Sway’s talents Retains 50% of intellectual property rights and divides it evenly on future advertising revenue.
The group is currently reviewing ad deals for their podcasts. They also hope podcasting could serve as a promotional tool for their own direct-to-consumer products (Richards and Hall launched an energy drink brand in July).
According to Gruen, the stars managed by TalentX plan to release a few more podcasts in the coming weeks.
“It’s very difficult at the moment,” said Gruen. “To have four podcasts in the top 100 is impressive. Especially if this is an audience you would never have expected that. I like doing it. I like to do things that are unexpected. ”
Read these other stories on Business Insider to learn more about social media stars and the world of the podcast:
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