It seems like forever ago but it was only back in 2005 that the New Oxford American Dictionary proclaimed “podcasting” the Word of the Year. Back then it was still riding the razor’s edge of cool and hip, existing in a shadowy netherworld inhabited primarily by techno – geeks and revolutionaries. Somewhere along the way, though, podcasting really began to take hold, exploiting the niche concept to an extent only imagined previously.

The big news today is that the 800 pound gorilla of podcasting, Apple (by way of its iTunes platform) is very interested in pushing the boundaries of podcast development and delivery systems; so interested, in fact, that it has just been awarded 29 new patents, one related to podcasting.

If you’re a podcaster, this should make you excited.

Apple founder, Steve Jobs, founded and ran his company with an eye towards fostering the works of independent artists and content creators. But recently podcasting has begun to slide to the backburner while other technologies like iPhone and iPad went out and conquered the world.

Today’s news of a patent for podcasting technology should help catapult the medium back into the public eye – not that it ever really went away; merely slipped off the front page. Apple claims that the new patent will allow them to streamline processes like:

1. Podcast creation

2. Podcast publishing

3. Subscription management

Though Mr. Jobs passed away earlier this year, we’re sure there are still at least a few brain cells and creative spirits left at the company to carry on his vision. Judging from the Apple track record, we have no reason to expect anything less than revolutionary changes, much the same as they did with music management, video editing, and personal computing.

As we already mentioned, this should make podcasters excited because Apple likes to put content distribution in the hands of content creators. In other words, the independent artist. When a up and coming podcaster like Marc Maron (host of WTF with Marc Maron) can create and distribute his show from his basement to the tune of more than 2.5 million downloads per month, and not a single penny goes to one of the “Big Name” media conglomerates, well, there’s a new sheriff in town and his name is “freedom”!

The bottom line is we can expect Apple’s new podcasting patent to mean big things for the industry, and probably sooner rather than later (Top image: Flickr | aditza121).

The Speaking of Wealth Team