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As Some Podcasters Scale Back Ambitions, Parcast Cofounder Max Cutler Sees Opportunity.


Max Cutler, a cofounder of Parcast who spent four years at Spotify after they snatched up the podcast studio in 2019 for $56 million, says for all that has changed in the industry, he still believes there are opportunities for entrepreneurs to carve out a business in podcasting. Despite a shakeout that has seen some large operations trim staff and put more emphasis on profits, Cutler tells Foundr that going left when everyone else is going right is how he has found success in the past.


“Everybody seems to be very anxious, and anytime there are macroeconomic issues going on, anytime there’s disruption happening, [but] that’s a huge opportunity for an entrepreneur to go into that space,” Cutler tells the magazine. And after working at a small studio and then a major streaming platform, he also says that smaller operations have distinct advantages since they are able to pivot quickly to adapt to things that are working and make decisions more quickly.


Cutler says for creators thinking of launching a podcast in 2023, he would make the show one that drops episodes on a more regular basis rather than releases individual seasons. He says that make the content “a utility” that becomes “an undeniable part of somebody’s day.”


Cutler tells Foundr that just turning on the mic and talking is also no longer going to work in landscape where listeners have a lot to select form.


“The way you talk, the way you tell your thing, it needs to be story focused. You need to take your investors or whoever your audience is on an adventure, on a story,” Cutler tells the magazine. “And most important, you need to be authentic to yourself. I think any wise investor or potential user, they’ll know if you’re just pushing a product. They’ll know if it’s not really you.”


Cutler exited Spotify in February as part of the company’s overhaul of its podcast management structure. He most recently served as VP, head of talk creator content and partnerships with overseen Spotify’s exclusive licensed podcast deals with partners including hosts Joe Rogan, Alex Cooper and Emma Chamberlain.


Cutler says the “biggest mistake” by podcast companies during the past four years has been going after Hollywood talent and other big names and convincing them to do a podcast. That is because for some personalities, the podcast has simply become a “line item” in their workday. Instead, he tells the magazine that the most successful hosts have intimacy with their listeners, can demonstrate personality chemistry with others on their show and are authentic with listeners.


Cutler has not yet announced any new projects, but he has said he plans to return to his entrepreneurial roots and form a start-up venture.


“I leaned into Spotify when I was there,” he tells Foundr. “I learned so much from so many amazing people and was able to grow a team of hundreds of people globally and got to work with the best talent in the world. And all those experiences are going to allow me to be successful in my next venture. Plain and simple.”

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