FYIG had the chance this week to talk to Max Cutler, creator of the Parcast Network of podcasts. Parcast already has a hit podcast called, Unsolved Murders: True Crime Stories, but he’s here to talk to us about his new podcast, Remarkable Lives, Tragic Deaths! Max also has some great tips to aspiring podcasters out there from his own experiences that led him to today. This is definitely one interview you don’t want to miss!
Tell the readers a bit about yourself and Parcast for those who may not have heard of you before.
I grew up in Los Angeles, CA and went to college at The University of Arizona. Since I could remember it was my dream to start and own a company. As a result, I doubled majored in Entrepreneurship and Finance while at The University of Arizona.
Parcast is a multi-dimensional Podcast Network that is focused on producing high quality, entertaining, mysterious, insightful and thought-provoking podcasts for our audience. We currently have two podcasts out, Unsolved Murders: True Crime Stories and Remarkable Lives, Tragic Deaths.
What prompted you to start podcasting?
My childhood led me to podcasting. I have always had a fascination with audio. I grew up in a radio household, my dad spent most of his professional life in radio and as a kid growing up in that environment, it had a profound impact on me. In November of 2015, I realized that I needed to do something I truly loved and was passionate about. Thus, the preliminary research and work started for the Parcast Network and I have never looked back. It is an amazing feeling to wake up every day looking forward to go to the office and not wanting to leave.
What are some of the difficulties you face in podcasting that people may not realize?
Where to begin! Like any startup, new difficulties arise every day. The time and effort it takes us to produce one podcast will shock most people. It takes us an average of 3-5 weeks from the time we decided on an episode concept to the time it is finished; it is not an overnight process. But this is also a huge reason why Parcast has had a great start. From a business standpoint the biggest difficulty is selling advertisers on podcasting. Even though the numbers clearly show that podcasting is the medium every advertiser should be spending money on. To prove this, about 61% of podcast listeners have bought something they heard on a podcast and engagement is 2-3 times that of radio. The fact is podcasting is still fairly new to advertisers and like anything it is hard to get people to convert.
What does it take to be a successful podcaster in today’s world where it seems like every person out there has one?
What is great about podcasting is the barrier to entry is extremely low. As you elude to, anyone can start a podcast but not anyone can be successful at it. I believe in order to have a successful podcast you need to have three elements. First, with so many podcasts available, you need to figure a way to standout. You need to find your unique selling proposition or twist on a concept and commit to it. Second is commitment, you will not be successful overnight, commit to producing 10 episodes and if what you are producing is great, you will pick up a following. Lastly, is production quality and sound quality. If your podcast has great sound quality, you are already better than most, which makes a HUGE difference.
You already have a hit podcast series, Unsolved Murders: True Crime Stories. What have you learned from doing that series that transitioned to Remarkable Lives, Tragic Deaths?
I think the better question is what didn’t we learn! The biggest lesson we learned from Unsolved Murders that we brought over to Remarkable Lives, Tragic Deaths is how to streamline the production process. We have a production schedule that is planned a quarter in advance. We know what shows are happening when and how our team will execute each episode from a production standpoint but also a business standpoint.
Tell us more about Remarkable Lives, Tragic Deaths.
If you love history or pop culture this is the show for you. Remarkable Lives, Tragic Deaths examines the lives and deaths of prominent people who changed history and influenced pop culture. Each episode is focused on a historical figure and takes you on a dramatic journey through the life and ultimate tragic death of those who have had an impact on society. With the help of voice actors, we attempt to honor these individuals by bringing their stories to life. It is truly an entertaining and engaging history podcast.
Do you see both of these series lasting long-term or is there a shelf-life on them?
We believe both of these series have the potential to last long term. The positive response we have gotten for both of them is truly humbling and it motivates the whole Parcast team to continue to produce a great product for listeners as long as we can.
Are there any other podcasts like these that you’re thinking about starting?
Yes! We actually have 21 podcast shows in different stages of development. I have not decided what the next show will be but there will be more to come. As a startup, we have to be very smart and strategical with how we grow. If money and time was not an issue, Parcast would be dropping new podcasts as often as possible.
You seem to have a general theme centered around real-life drama with your podcasts. Is there a possibility that you will do something completely different in the future theme-wise or is this your niche?
We will definitely be branching out and producing new podcasts in different genres in the future. Right now, I strongly believe that Parcast holds a huge advantage over our competition when it comes to producing real-life drama podcasts. In the future, you can expect Parcast podcasts to range in genre from history, reality, paranormal, and scripted fiction.
Would you be interested in branching out beyond podcasting? It seems like something like this would make for great television.
Without question. We are always looking at ways to diversify risk and reach larger audiences. There has actually been a trend recently that podcasts have been getting picked up and turned into TV shows. Parcast already has a staff of writers, production staff and talent to make this happen. We are a natural fit for TV.
You’re a father and son duo. Does that make it easier to do shows like these ones? I’d imagine it’s just like a family discussion.
In many ways it is like a family discussion. I am not sure if it is easier, it is just different. I will say this though, for me personally, it is a dream come true for me to work with my dad. I actually recruited him out of retirement to come and help me start Parcast. We have always had a very close relationship and from a professional standpoint there is no one better in terms of experience and expertise. It is priceless for me.
Let the readers know where they can find the podcasts and where they can find Parcast on social media!
You can find Remarkable Lives, Tragic Deaths and Unsolved Murders: True Crime Stories on our website, parcast.com, iTunes, and Apple’s podcast APP, GooglePlay, Stitcher or your favorite podcast directory. Like us on Facebook and follow us at Twitter. Links below: