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This story originally appeared in Hot Pod Insider, The Verge’s newsletter about the biggest events in audio. You can sign up here.

It feels like 2022 was the year when podcasting came back to earth. After years of go-go growth, podcast hits going mainstream, major corporate investment, and hype about the market to come ($4 billion by 2024!!), optimism about the industry hit the wall of an uncertain economy. M&A took a breather, advertising got tighter, and companies started laying off audio employees after years of frenzied hiring.

What does 2023 have in store? If we have learned anything at all from the decade so far, it is to expect the unexpected. But seeing as I am in as bad a position to predict the future as anyone, I spoke to…

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