SERVANT OF POD WITH NICK QUAH
Episode 6 Transcript: Hank Green on Big Money in Podcasting
Season 1, Episode 5
Fri, 8/21 8:09PM • 33:03
spotify, podcasts, youtube, people, creators, content, hank green, audience, platform, hank, world, money, feel, big, listening, ways, creating, apple, crash course, monetization
Hank Green (excerpt from Brotherhood 2.0), Anna Akana (excerpt from Crash Course), Nick Quah, Hank Green
Hank Green 00:01
I think it's a big messy moment. And it may be that Spotify coming into this is ultimately going to be good for a lot of types of people. And that it may actually make the ecosystem more robust, and have people make more money, and give people more choice, and maybe I'm just being a curmudgeon.
Nick Quah 00:24
from LAist Studios, this is Servant of Pod. I'm Nick Quah. Hank Green knows what happens when something unique and quirky grows up to be something else. As a veteran YouTuber, he's seen how that platform evolved from a weird one to land into a vast machine of content and commerce. Hank is also a podcaster, making shows like Dear Hank and John and SciShow Tangents. He sees podcasting right now as similar to YouTube's early days, and he doesn't necessarily want to see that change. In a recent op-ed for The Washington Post, he wrote, quote, “It's a decentralized, hacked-together, open system. And as a podcaster and a listener. I think it works perfectly.”
Hank Green 01:13
I remember when this kind of happened to YouTube, and ultimately what it meant was that it felt a little less like home, but it was open to a lot more people. And it was an option, it was a place for more people. You know, me wanting that not to happen was, you know, in some ways me wanting things to stay the same, but in some ways, it was me wanting to deny it to other people.
Nick Quah 01:39
Hank Green on what happens when big money hits a young community. Throughout his work, Hank Green has been consistently drawn to building communities. His passion for bringing people together started in 2007 with a vlog that he made with his big brother, the author John Green, called Brotherhood 2.0. The brothers vowed to stop all forms of communication except for their daily vlogs, which they posted on YouTube.
Hank Green (excerpt from Brotherhood 2.0) 02:23
Good morning, John. January 5, and I'm sitting in my basement back home surrounded by all the things I love. I love orange juice, I love Mental Floss magazine, and Benjamin Franklin.
Nick Quah 02:35
Before Brotherhood 2.0 the brothers spoke maybe once or twice a year. Now they talk every single day. They developed a big following, and they call those fans Nerdfighters. They'd host meetups around the country, and those meetups turned into conferences; most notably VidCon, the largest online video conference in the world. For a person who primarily makes stuff over the internet, building spaces where people feel connected to each other is remarkably important to him.
Hank Green 03:05
Oh, I think it's, I mean, for me, it's the meaning of life to some extent. So yeah, I mean, it's like, the big thing where I think that I'm happier when I have people who I love things with, and I am happy to be able to provide that service to other people. And we are headed into a world and increasingly are in a world where there is less community and more loneliness, and that is extremely unhealthy, like actually unhealthy for people's bodies. And also unhealthy, I think, societally, and ultimately leads to searching for meaning in ways that are not community. And a lot of those can be—not all of them, but a lot of them—can be destructive. So it's not just like something that I really enjoy, it's something that I really think is vital to the long term stability of humans and ,like, individual prospering. We are a communal species. We are, you know, we are obviously individuals, but I think that any robust understanding of humans recognizes that we are sort of collective first, individual second.
Nick Quah 04:21
Hank Green is prolific, usually working on three or four projects at a time. Right now, he has four podcasts, he has a book coming out, and I'm sure he has more stuff in the pipeline that I don't know about. It's a lot.
Hank Green 04:37
I mean, I'm not great at it. It's always been a combination of two things, like, what is the thing I'm most excited about and what is the obligation that I am most not fulfilling? And sometimes those are the same thing. Like sometimes the thing that I am, have, like obliged myself to do to people who I love and respect is also something that I am really excited about doing. But oftentimes it is not. Where my excitement comes from is actually something I'm trying to be more mindful of. Because sometimes I think that the excitement comes from, you know, that fuel is coming from unhealthy places, but sometimes it's not. And I need to recognize the difference between those things.
Nick Quah 05:19
Okay, could you explore that a little bit more? Because I feel like I'm struggling with the same thing. I feel like most often than not my my own productivity comes from—sort of an anxiety of like not being able to do something, or like not realizing something. How do you listen to yourself?
Hank Green 05:37
You... listen. [Laughter] And like, it's not easy right now. I think that one way is to treat yourself like a person and, you know, if my wife is talking to me, I should be listening to her. So in the same way, I should also be respecting myself and listening to myself, and part of the reason is that it's become more important that I do that, because, you know, one, I have a lot of obligations and, you know, being excited about something, drawing me into doing it, might make it harder to fulfill those obligations. But yeah, I think that the main thing is listening and like understanding that my own health counts as productivity. You know, there's like, sort of a cult of productivity in some areas of business, and, you know, I came to the conclusion and actually wrote it into my most recent novel that, like, my own happiness, my own joy, my own health are all parts of productivity. Not that like they helped me be more productive, but they are productions. Like, that is stuff that I am producing. I am making stability in my life, I'm making joy for myself, I'm making—I have a chronic illness, so I also have to pay a lot of attention to that—and so I'm like, I'm making a future where my body is healthier for longer, and all those things aren't things that I'm making, and they count as productivity.
Nick Quah 07:06
When you think back on all the work that you've done so far, what are you most proud about?
Hank Green 07:12
Probably Crash Course. So we have this show on YouTube that teaches mostly late High School, early college stuff, though some into like mid-level college work, and so it's got like anatomy and physiology, World History, chemistry, all kinds of stuff. We have an artificial intelligence course, a business course.
Anna Akana (excerpt from Crash Course) 07:32
As entrepreneurs, we have control over how we grow our companies, so we can be successful on our own terms. Sometimes our business gets out of hand, and we have to face our worst nightmare: failure. Or is that just my worst nightmare? I'm working on it. So let's grow together—or decide to keep doing what we're doing—and face down failure. I'm Anna Akana. This is Crash Course: Business Entrepreneurship.
Hank Green 07:57
And that is the thing that I am most often stopped for on the street, and people, instead of saying like, “I love your stuff”—so this is like a, this is a thing that I'm aware of; I am placing extra value on this because it's harder to explain away—and so, when like somebody stops me on the street and they're like, “I love your YouTube stuff so much,” I kind of—there's a part of me that like tries to explain that away as there's just like, you would have found something to love, you know, and like I'm it just happens to be that I'm the thing that you found to love. Like our content is like a thing that you found community in, but you could have found it in in music, you would have found it in something. And so I'm explaining it away that way. But with Crash Course, it's people who are like, “Hey, thanks for helping me pass my anatomy and physiology class in nursing school. I'm a nurse now.” I'm like, that's really hard to explain away. It feels really good. I just like, helped a person get a job that they like and also I helped there be more nurses in the world, which is like something that we desperately need, and yeah, the stop is always very brief. And it's like, oh, hey, they're not even like—it's not even like they're excited to see me. It's like they're stating a fact. And I’m like, “I believe that guy.”
Nick Quah 09:16
Oh, man, I feel like what's pretty striking in your responses in the past 5-10 minutes is this notion of like, creating ways to not let you wiggle out of something.
Yeah, yep. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, that's been the most motivating thing in my life—my whole life. And I don't know if this is just not the case for other people, or if they’re just not honest about it. But it's definitely the case for me.
Nick Quah 09:39
It’s the same for me, but I think—[Laughter]—I don't think there's a lot of people like this, to be perfectly honest. What Hank saw with YouTube weighs heavy on how he sees things. And so you can't blame him for asking, “Will podcasting go the way of YouTube?” More in a minute. Hank Green was there during the early days of YouTube, and he watched it evolve into the machine that it is today. I asked him if he feels a sense of deja vu, whether he thinks big corporations are taking the creativity out of podcasting.
Hank Green 10:35
Yeah, and in my experience, what I actually see is that's the perception, but not the reality. So the perception is that the samey-ness comes in, and then the weirdness goes away. But what actually happens is that the samey-ness comes in and then like the Big Bang Theory of podcasts, whatever that is, and I'm not gonna like name any names, but we've all got sort of our thoughts behind that. So these like super popular, kind of bland things show up and like, are much more interesting to, you know, the people that we, as nerds, might consider, like, the basic, sort of, like normies. And, you know, all of this is kind of BS, right? Because like, this is just our own, like, struggling through our middle school memories of being bullied as adults, which we should get over. But like, there's this—like boring **** comes out and like, takes over, and like, floats to the top., and it's gonna be like lowest common denominator stuff. But that doesn't mean that there's not interesting stuff, it just means that like, what we tend to look at is like the five most popular things, and then all the stuff below, that might be getting like, you know, millions of downloads, is still thriving. It's just not as big as the biggest things. And so the biggest things tend to define, not necessarily even the culture, but how like the broad culture understands that medium. And, you know, music is the best example of this, like, there are hundreds of thousands or millions of working musicians just in America, you know, and some of them, like most of them, probably have other jobs also. And a few of them—a very few of them—are billionaires, you know?
Nick Quah 12:18
Hank Green 12:19
So when like, there was this period of time when like, YouTubers were starting to make real money, and reporters would always ask me, “Hank, how much money do YouTubers make?” Or like,”Who gets paid most, like that person right there?” It was like the grossest question ever. But like, the point is, that like Lady Gaga makes a bunch of money, but like, look at where—don't look right now—but five, you know, six months ago, look at your local theater and see like all of the bands that are performing there, and know that you've not heard of any of them, but they are all going to have plenty of people coming out, paying money to go watch them, because music is really distributed and that's how it should be, and video has become—we used to be very not distributed because we were sort of stuck. And radio’s the same way. We're stuck, like, with limited bandwidth, we're stuck in limited spectrums, and like, we're stuck with with like, high production values. Video and audio have have opened up to allow there to be all of this space, like really fragmented, and if there is a vector toward anything that's not really a cycle, it's toward fragmenting audience. And that's, I think, really good because it means that there's fewer shows that are sort of lowest common denominator, and more things that are being made specifically for people who have like more niche interests. The other vector is toward providing for an audience-first ecosystem, where the first thing you care about is the experience of the audience. That might end up being a little less the case in podcasting, because the content is long. Whereas in video, you know, you end up with these platforms where like they really care only about the experience that the audience has, because the creators are there to get access to the audience so that everybody sort of agrees, like, serve the audience first. And you see, like the ultimate manifestation of that in TikTok, where it's just like, it's not at all designed to optimize the income, or the stability, or the happiness of creators, it's there to optimize the ease with which you consume content. I think that podcasts in this case, are different, are an exception, because I don't really that often want a new podcast because I'm comfortable with the ones that I like. And there’s enough of them that I, you know, I haven't even listened to every episode of 99% Invisible and like, that's inexcusable, because they're all fantastic. But like, I just don't have the time so that there's always more great content for me to consume. Right.
Nick Quah 14:50
It's kind of like books a little bit.
Hank Green 14:52
Yeah, and stuff that I'm already comfortable with, exactly.
Nick Quah 14:56
Shortly after Spotify announced its hundred million dollar exclusive deal with Joe Rogan, Hank wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post expressing concern that podcasting might go to way of YouTube. Less creator-friendly, less free.
Hank Green 15:10
You know, my concern generally is that, like, podcasts are this, like, beautiful last bastion of the open Internet where we put them in, you know, like, I can host my own podcast, I can create my own podcatcher, like, the architecture of podcasts is kind of clunky and old, and it has its problems, and its ways in which it doesn't maybe work as smoothly as it would if it were all sort of controlled by one big company. But it allows for it to be weirder and more accessible. And the fact that it is controlled by no one is something that I actually really like about it. And I worry that you know, anybody might look at that and say, well, let's take that and try and have it be our thing, where we are the ones who monetize it, we are the ones who create the best platform for drawing audience attention to something, and also create—like, sort of extracting the value and turning that into money through dynamically inserted ads. I could see that happening. And when I'm trying to imagine the world in which podcasts lose that open nature, to me, Spotify is that is the one who's clearly most interested in it, but also probably most able to do it. I think it would be hard. I think it might not happen. I think it might happen sort of in demographically segmented ways. But I think that they have the best chance of doing it. I know that plenty of companies would want to.
Nick Quah 16:36
Right. And so you wrote, I quote, “My guess, and I'm hardly alone, is that Spotify wants to become to podcasts what YouTube is for video, simply the default platform for both listeners and creators. And that should worry people in both those groups,” endquote. So walk me through why a “YouTube-ification,” for lack of a better word, is bad necessarily. Just sort of lay out the argumentation.
Hank Green 16:59
Well, the basics are, that when you make content on a platform that is in control of audience and control of monetization, we are limited to making the things that they want us to make. The sort of most obvious example of this is, at some point, YouTube really started to push watch time, and they really started to reward content that kept people on the site longer, and that meant that people started to make much longer YouTube videos, and suddenly we went from a world where the average YouTube video was five minutes or less, to the average YouTube video being 10 minutes or more—oftentimes 20, 30, 40 minutes. And that's a very different world, like the algorithm, what the algorithm was choosing to promote, affected the kind of content that people made. And that meant that people who are making stuff that creatively worked best as shorter form content, weren't able to continue their careers, basically. Like, that stuff just more or less stopped existing. In those worlds where you basically say, like, what the platform wants decides what content gets made, you lose—like certain audiences don't get served, certain creators don't get audience, certain kinds of content just don't exist. And like, I just like a world where the only people involved in whether or not content is being created are the people creating it and the people consuming it. And the sort of intermediary, they're deciding what content is best for monetization, or best for the platform, or best for whatever arbitrary goal they may have now--that they might not have in five years--is a scarier prospect because I want people to make things for people, not for algorithms.
Nick Quah 18:40
Right. So I think one of the counter arguments, my sense is, is that like, you know, I think if Spotify were to come in and be--and argue, like, "Well, we're not--we don't want to make anybody do anything." Like, "We just want to give tools to everybody."
Hank Green 18:52
Well, of course.
Nick Quah 18:52
Yeah, and in a way, that's a sort of--everybody's the hero in their own story, right? But, so what are we really looking at here? Are we talking--is this like a cultural thing? Does this happen more softly, as opposed to something that happens more concretely? Like, how do we know if the sort of poor outcomes that you're worried about happen?
Hank Green 19:11
Well, my other big concern is that content starts to only be available through Spotify. And not because Spotify has it exclusively, but because it just--there are little reasons why your content might be more successful if you upload exclusively to Spotify.
Nick Quah 19:28
Hank Green 19:28
And that might be, you know, access to monetization tools. It might also be access to audience. And so what the world looks like, in this future that I'm afraid of, is that Spotify becomes the default platform for podcasts, and so you can't get a podcast through a normal RSS feed. So basically, the Apple Podcasts app becomes, you know, a place where some, but not all, podcasts are available. And that's like not just one or two podcasts that have been licensed exclusively by Spotify, but also lots of podcasts who are like, "Well, it's just not worth the trouble or the extra expense of my libsyn account to do that," because Spotify like, hosts it all for free, and they monetize the stuff, and like, all this is done very easily. And so that's the kind of the--that when I say like an analogue to YouTube--the stuff that Spotify is doing with Joe Rogan and Kim Kardashian--that's, to me analogous to Netflix. Like, this is stuff that is big budget, and we've got these shows that are going to draw people into the Spotify ecosystem. What is analogous to YouTube is this much less talked-about acquisition of Anchor, and all of the tools to make podcasts more easily and get them into Spotify very simply. And what that might mean is, like, if Spotify controls the creation systems, which YouTube doesn't really do, but TikTok, for example, does a great job of that-- --Instagram, to a lesser extent. But I think that YouTube is interested in it, where the creation system is controlled by the platform--so this is how you make the stuff--monetization is owned by the platform, and then for all creators, and creatives, the most important thing is access to audience is owned by the platform. And so instead of, in podcasts where we have this very word-of-mouth based, non-algorithmic serving of content, Spotify could start to find ways to get ears on podcasts through algorithmic recommendations that then give Spotify this sort of tremendous amount of power and means that you kind of can't have a successful podcast unless you are interfacing really deeply with Spotify's ecosystem.
Nick Quah 21:36
Right. I guess one of the other "con" arguments then is that we have seen at least a softer version of this with Apple already, given the fact that, you know, majority of podcast listening up until this point has been on--facilitated over the Apple Podcasts platform. And that, you know, the charts and the editorial front pages end up being, you know, soft kingmakers almost--
Hank Green 21:58
Nick Quah 21:59
--when it comes to podcasts. So, so how do you sort of see that counter argument? And what does make it different compared to Spotify?
Hank Green 22:06
Yeah, I think it's a question of degrees. And I think you're right that those spaces, you know, are extremely important. And also, our human curated--that sort of front page, which is, in my experience, how a lot of success comes in podcasting. To me that's not better. Like the those human creations are often like, very--they can be pretty nepotistic. It's about who you know, and, and sort of like what company you're making your podcast with, can sort of, like, influence how you show up on those pages. That's not better. But what I'm afraid of is that like, this isn't Apple competing with Spotify, competing with Pocket, competing with like a bunch of different apps and structures that like--Spotify is playing this game to build a monopoly. And that's the thing that I'm really afraid of is, like, monopolies are--tend to not be great for creators, and they tend to sort of isolate all of the power.
Nick Quah 23:01
Yeah, I mean, that's--I feel like that's the thing that is fundamentally different. And despite the fact that we have heard a lot about Spotify over the past year and a half, we--I still get a sense that we still don't know what the end game is supposed to look like.
Hank Green 23:15
Yeah, I think that's totally true. And I don't think that we will for another 5 or 10 years. And I don't even know that Spotify knows. I just think that Spotify is thinking, well, music is great, and it's a really important thing for us, but we're not about music. We're about ears, you know? And I think that that's a really smart decision. Like, for full disclosure, I own stock in Spotify and have for a very long time. And I think that they are a really great company to own stock in. I just like, as a podcaster, as a person who loves this space, I really want there to be a diverse ecosystem of lots of different ways that people get their audio content. And so there's lots of options for creators, lots of options for listeners, and like that, just tends to be the the way that like, the most interesting things happen. And it just also tends to be not the way that most of the money gets made.
Nick Quah 24:08
I guess the one last kind of argument that has stuck with me, and it's something that I feel like I haven't been able to get around, is this argument that like, you know, monopolies have their uses in the sense that it will increase or improve the capacity for some, maybe not all, podcasters to make money. The other version of that argument is that like, things in podcasting were pretty inefficient beforehand. It was a pretty rough experience, you know, having, you know, just launched this podcast, even the experience of trying to figure out, is there a way for me to not have to rely on Apple to promote the show, or to have it even be known to exist? So, do you see that trade off as being one that's realistic? Or--and one that is that--do you see that kind of argument as being one that's like, I understand why people would buy into the Spotify system, but it's still bad in the aggregate?
Hank Green 25:00
I think that that makes a ton of sense. And like, this gets to a kind of feeling that I have about my own take here, which is that it is a little bit elitist. It's a little bit like, I like it the way that it is because it's been this way for so long, and it's like been this cute little corner of the internet that I feel like is good and passes my vibe check. Whereas in reality, if we're looking at podcasts, there's like a really subjective creative business perspective. The fact that it's all word of mouth is a problem. The fact that like, there is no single place to have dynamically inserted advertisements is a problem. The fact that like, you know, if you have fewer than, you know, maybe 5,000 downloads per episode, it's really hard to get anyone to take you seriously enough to--for you to make the you know, maybe $100, $200, $250 an episode you might be making otherwise. That money is real, but because there's so much sort of administrative cost to serve ads on any content that it sort of like, is prohibitive to serve to smaller podcasts, and so the long tail doesn't get monetized the way that it does on YouTube. Those are all real things. And I think like, those are all indicative of, you know, the kinds of reasons why Spotify might have a real value proposition here. And the other thing is like, I always try to emphasize that what creators want isn't--we don't tend to be thinking about making money first, we tend to be thinking about reaching audience. And that's not to say that money doesn't matter. It's to say that audience is the path to, like, sustainability of your content. So I think a thing to really keep an eye on is how effective Spotify gets at figuring out how to serve audience to new content that isn't getting it already. You know, this is really why people are on YouTube because YouTube is where the eyeballs are. That's the competitive advantage of YouTube, even beyond monetization, is I get to make content and YouTube will send new people to my content if I make good stuff. And that right now is not a thing that podcasts have and is a thing that, you know, aside from sort of the, you know, the charts on Apple, or the front page of Apple Podcasts. And that's something that I think is really potentially very valuable.
Nick Quah 27:11
What do you think can be done, at this point in time, to improve the lot of creators? If it does feel like "Spotify the monopoly" ends up feeling inevitable? Are we talking about unions? Like do we--are we talking about collective, like, power? Like, how--what would you say is a good path forward?
Hank Green 27:32
Well, I think there's two advantages here. One is that, you know, compared to a YouTuber, a TikTokker, or something, podcast creators are older and smar--like, um, I don't want to say smarter, but like, have more experience like, in general-- They've had their heart broken a couple of times. Yeah, exactly. Like, your average TikTokker is probably under 20. And so like, those people maybe don't have the same amount of, you know, expertise and awareness of the value that they bring. So I think that there is a certain possibility there that podcasters will be able to more effectively leverage the power that they do have over platforms. And I think that the other thing is that they do have that power. Whereas on some platforms that are big deals right now, creators don't have a ton of ways to reach their audiences that aren't on that platform and that aren't controlled by that platform. TikTok is the best example of this, where you know, if you don't post something that's, like, big, like, designed to get audience, and it just reaches your people, it's not going to reach very many people. And Facebook is a similar thing where you basically have to pay to reach your own audience, oftentimes. But I think that podcasters really tend to have a much deeper relationship with their audience. And so can leverage that audience to help them control the platforms that they're engaging with. We've--you know, I've also seen this--to help them control their own content, and the media companies that might own it despite the fact that it might feel like the podcast creators own it because they did all the work in creating it, but, you know, a media company owns it. And I think that the audience oftentimes feels like, you know, their relationship is with you. It's not with Earwolf, and it's not with BuzzFeed, it's you know, it's with you. Not with... what's the one? Barstool.
Nick Quah 29:21
Hank Green 29:22
Ooh, boy. So figuring that dynamic out, and creating an ecosystem that allows for it, and that understands it, hasn't happened yet. And I think that it needs to happen.
Nick Quah 29:35
Hmm. Where feels most like home to you right now?
Hank Green 29:40
Where feels most like home to me?
Nick Quah 29:41
Hank Green 29:42
What a ****ing awesome question. Especially because like, my town feels less like home because I don't see it that much anymore. Oh, God. Am I--I don't know, I feel very alienated from Twitter, because it's so--makes me pretty anxious. I feel more alienated from YouTube. But like, I guess I'd say that my like, my YouTube channel still is the place that feels like home. Like, the Vlogbrothers YouTube channel. That's where the people are who I've been making content with for the last almost 15 years now, and I think that that probably will always feel a little bit like home to me.
Nick Quah 30:22
Yeah, it's kind of like, if you can preserve your block in a bustling city--
Hank Green 30:26
Nick Quah 30:26
Hank Green 30:27
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. YouTube as a whole does not feel like home. But um, but there are definitely parts of it that do.
Nick Quah 30:34
Hank, we usually end with podcast recommendations. What are you listening to, that kind of thing. But you have a book coming out. You want to start with that?
Hank Green 30:42
Ah, so first, I will plug the book and say that because I love podcasts, there are podcasts in the book, like excerpts from podcasts, where like, characters are being interviewed. And we recorded those as if they are podcasts for the audio book, which I'm very excited about, like a lot. But that's not technically a podcast. It's, for example, it costs money, you have to buy it. I've been listening to this podcast called Meddling Adults. It's fairly new, and it's like, friends, and they try to solve the mysteries from old like, middle-grade detective novels. So like, Encyclopedia Brown was the first episode, I think?
Nick Quah 31:23
Right, right, right.
Hank Green 31:23
And so there's--they're these dumb mysteries in Encyclopedia Brown, like--but like, they use all different kinds of young adult and middle-grade mystery novels, but they like, set it up for you and then like, they try to have the hosts actually figure out what this like, genius detective in the story figured out. It's very fun. I also don't--have you ever listened to Dr. Game Show?
Nick Quah 31:44
Yes, I have, actually.
Hank Green 31:46
Oh God, I love it so much. It is--it is really out there. Like, it's so out there.
Nick Quah 31:56
Hank, thank you so much for taking time to talk to me. I really appreciate this conversation.
Hank Green 32:00
Yeah, thank you very much.
Nick Quah 32:14
Servant of Pod is written and hosted by me, Nick Quah. You can check out more episodes at LAist dot com, slash Servant of Pod. Web design by Andy Cheatwood and the digital and marketing teams at Southern California Public Radio. Logo and branding by Leo G. Thanks to the team at LAist Studios, including Kristen Hayford, Taylor Coffman, Kristen Muller, and Leo G. Servant of Pod is a production of LAist Studios.