The Fellas co-founders Callum ‘Calfreezy’ Airey and Joshua ‘TheBurntChip’ Larkin have received a £1.5 million investment to expand the video podcast studio within their production company, The Fellas Studios.
The investment came from a number of fellow YouTube stars including KSI, who has over 24 million subscribers on the platform and The Sidemen group, which has over 18 million subscribers. Other popular creators that have invested in The Fellas Studios include William ‘WillNE’ Lenney, Christopher ‘ChrisMD’ Dixon, and Callum ‘Callux’ McGinley.
With this investment, The Fellas Studios will continue expanding its video podcasting efforts, having already produced Spotify’s in-house society podcast Small Talks as part of the company’s exclusivity deal with the platform, Saving Grace with TikTok star GKBarry, formula 1 podcast The Last Lap, and many more. Both Airey and Larkin also host a number of their own joint podcasts including The Fellas and The Fellas Mysteries.
“[The business] wanted to shift away from how podcasts were traditionally structured for creators and build not only individual shows but entire brands,” Airey told CityAM.
“We’ve shown that the old podcast format is tired – video is a must, as is creating a brand around the talent and the show,” said The Fellas Studios chief operating officer Elliot Hackney.
A number of YouTube content creators have discovered a newfound success with podcasting, transitioning to a longer and more in-depth platform. One example is Emma Chamberlain who started her career on YouTube, now with 12 million subscribers, and has since launched her successful podcast Anything Goes in 2020.
In November 2022, Chamberlain signed a multi-year licensing agreement with Spotify which originally made the podcast exclusive to the platform, but which has since been changed to make the podcast available in audio form on all podcast platforms. The podcast also introduced video on Spotify, which is still exclusive to the platform, and that has “more than doubled its listenership”, according to Spotify’s head of US studios and video Julie McNamara at Stream On 2023.
“I think videos add another dimension,” said Chamberlain at the event. “Audio is incredibly powerful, but seeing somebody's body language, seeing somebody's facial expressions, it feels more intimate, and I think it just allows for even more connection through the screen through the years.”