Parcast founder Max Cutler launches Pave Studios

Parcast founder Max Cutler left Spotify last February as part of a wave of high-profile departures from its podcast vertical, and he’s now launching Pave Studios to create content across multiple formats. “Storytellers who successfully engage audiences and create fandoms through written, audio, and video content have led the charge in cultivating their robust communities into diverse businesses,” said Cutler.

The company has two new brands to start, with OpenMind, which focuses on wellness, and the true crime-geared Crime House. 

Spotify acquired the true crime and horror-focused studio Parcast in 2019 as part of a $1 billion investment in original podcasts. After the sale, Cutler went on to serve as Spotify’s head of talk creator content and partnerships, helping manage exclusive podcast deals with Joe Rogan, Alex Cooper, Emma Chamberlain, and others. Most recently, he served as an adviser to kids and family-focused audio network Starglow Media

Despite layoffs and cuts that hit the podcast industry hard last year, large deals are still available for those in its top echelon. SmartLess Media and its founders, Will Arnett, Jason Bateman, and Sean Hayes, signed a $100 million multiyear deal with SiriusXM in January, while Joe Rogan’s new nonexclusive Spotify deal is reportedly worth up to $250 million.

Pave announced it has already signed on a handful of creators who it will work with to create original content, including Money Rehab host Nicole Lapin, The Doctor’s Farmacy host Mark Hyman, Vanderpump Rules star and spiritual astrologer Ally Lewber, Australian self-help podcaster Jemma Sbeg, and celebrity astrologer Aliza Kelly.

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