First signs of Zune rebranding? Xbox Live Music Marketplace discovered

By Tom Warren, on 28th Apr 11 10:57 pm with 22 Comments

Microsoft appears to have revealed the first part of its Zune rebranding.

The software giant is looking for a Xbox Live Music Marketplace Business Manager, according to a job posting:

“The Xbox LIVE Services Business and Strategy Team is looking for a passionate, media-savvy, detail-oriented and highly motivated Business Manager passionate about driving our first party Music business in the US across multiple tuner end points; Xbox 360, Windows Phone 7, PC, WWW and Bing

The position is responsible for management of relationships with two of the four major record labels as well as a number of high profile indie labels, and creating strategies around content to drive the Zune Music business. You’ll work closely with other team members internal and, afore mentioned, external content partners, and with Marketing, Promotions and Tuner teams to help them support objectives and initiatives into smart execution.

Using a blend of partner opportunity, merchandising, curation and packaging, you will help drive the evolving Zune music experience and improve the value of our offering.”

Microsoft currently offers the Zune Marketplace to Xbox users. The Marketplace offers streaming and downloading of movies and TV shows on the Xbox 360. Microsoft’s music portion of the Zune Marketplace was brought to the Xbox 360 in November, 2010. Xbox users need a Zune Pass subscription to play music in the application and only Zune Pass content is currently available.

Microsoft is currently working on “Ventura”, a set of services being developed by the company’s Entertainment and Devices (E&D) unit. The services will focus on music and video discovery and consumption. “Ventura” also appears to run on Microsoft’s Azure cloud hosting. Little is known about “Ventura” and how it fits into the company’s Zune music and video services. Zune has been in the news lately for all the wrong reasons. Microsoft was forced to confirm it is not “killing” any Zune services after it was revealed that the company plans to rebrand Zune into Windows Live shortly. Microsoft has been suspiciously quiet around Zune and Zune services over the past few months. The software giant’s Zune Video service gained over 50% more market share in 2010 compared to 2009, thanks to an international launch of the Zune Marketplace. Microsoft made Zune Video available in October to additional regions including Europe, Asia and Australia. Despite the expansion, Microsoft’s Zune services aren’t widely known outside of the United States. Microsoft’s marketing teams have spent little time and money on promoting Zune and the focus appears to be solely on Windows Phone.

Thanks to @clubdirthill for the news tip

  • Hakizzle

    Don’t care as long as my Zune Pass works with the rebranded service

    • Ash755

      same

    • Anonymous

      Just get a WP7 it has Zune Integration….awesome stuff.

    • Hakizzle

      unfortunately, verizon wireless has continued to shaft me

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, me too. :/

    • Guest

      WP7+updates are coming on Verizon already or real soon now.

    • http://www.blog.fludlyt.com Fludlyt

      If it scrobbled to Last.fm it would be perfect.

    • Guest

      MS are subsidizing it so you get it free Last.fm, also there’s already a Last.fm app and Pandora too.

    • http://www.blog.fludlyt.com Fludlyt

      You are correct on MS subsidizing the Last.fm app but what I meant is that if the built in ‘WP7 Zune application’ scrobbled tracks to Last.fm then it would be perfect. Pandora only works in the US unfortunately.

    • Anonymous

      Yes. Zune Pass is absolutely amazing.

      I was even looking at getting an Android phone recently, and the sole reason I did not was my Zune Pass. There’s just no satisfactory substitute.

    • Guest

      Yeah Android is horrible and Google’s anti-competive behavior with blocking competing services on Android among other bullshit make me not want to support them. If you need Linux and something hacker-friendly and can install out of the app store use WebOS, it even has more games than Android and isn’t as flaky. I use yauba.com. Google is the greatest threat to all desktop and mobile operating systems (Windows, Mac, Linux, Haiku, Windows Phone, iOS, WebOS, Blackberry and even Android) and the entire publishing industry and other industries.

    • Anonymous

      That’s why I’ll never use Chrome, Android, Gmail, etc…. Yet, I ‘m hooked on Google for online searches… If only Bing was better *sigh*

  • http://josedmorales.net Josè Daniel

    Xbox Live Music Marketplace … What a long name! LOL

  • Anonymous

    I don’t believe that this is an indication of any major changes. Why use “Zune” so many times in the posting if this “Xbox LIVE Music” is a replacement? Could it be possible that “Music Marketplace” in the title of this posting isn’t part of a proper noun? Perhaps it is meant to be taken as “Xbox LIVE music marketplace” where “music marketplace” is a generic term, and there isn’t actually a product called “Xbox LIVE Music Marketplace”?

  • http://twitter.com/mdtauk martin anderson

    I will miss the Zune brand… Would rather the name remain, and Microsoft actually start pushing the brand awareness outside of the US!

  • http://twitter.com/topleya Andy Topley

    I think this “creating strategies around content to drive the Zune Music business” says it all. This is not a sign of the rebrand

  • GP007

    Venture being a backend Azure based service to replace the current Zune backend doesn’t need to bring a front end rebranding with it. Doing a Xbox Live Music marketplace could just be a way to roll the current “Zune” on the Xbox into Xbox Live and not have it seem like it’s own thing when it doesn’t have to be. Another nice thing this could bring with it is that Gold members get access to this as part of the monthly subscription instead of having to pay for Gold and Zune.

    Doing this MS adds some more value to the cost of Gold but at the same time limits it to the Xbox itself. This also means that they can still charge you for a “Zune Pass” that would then let you support both the Xbox AND the PC/Phone etc.

    We’ll see how this works bout but from the way this sounds right now I think this is the general idea, add value to Gold and get people to sign up, at the same time you don’t really cut anything out from Zune in the process since a Zune pass would infact cover all “3 screens”. MS should also update Zune and sync it with skydirve so they can add “cloud music” like amazon did and like apple is working on. Sure the zune pass lets you basically stream anything but I have local stuff that’s not on zune, and even older stuff that’s not online etc, so the use/need for this feature helps as well.

  • http://www.phrasememe.com Greg Bray

    The full job posting lists the Zune brand 5 times (same number of mentions for Xbox). Your quote only lists each twice.

    http://www.microsoft-careers.com/job/Redmond-Business-Manager-IEB-Xbox-Live-Music-Marketplace-(754083)-Job-WA-98052/1246629/

    The “Xbox Live Music Marketplace” name has been used over 2 and a half years ago too: http://www.windows-now.com/blogs/robert/zune-marketplace-coming-to-xbox-360.aspx

    Nothing to see here… move along now

    • http://www.winrumors.com Tom W

      Key point in that ancient article is “supposed Xbox Live Music Marketplace”. Microsoft has never used the name officially.

  • Rsaturno

    I don’t care if they rename Zune, as long as Zune Pass remains as is. An added bonus would be a modernized Zune player … I don’t even care if it runs WP7 necessarily.

  • Anonymous

    I think its TERRIBLY dissapointing if Microsoft takes a simple brand such as “zune” and ruins it with “Xbox Live Music Marketplace” WHATEVER they do, they need to just make the brand a consistent strategy across all platforms and calling it “xbox live music marketplace” does just the opposite.

  • Ion

    Zune is one of the better brands they got… Windows Live Movie Maker, Windows Live Messenger, Windows Live Sync, etc… It’s dumb having names like that, and now Xbox Live Music Marketplace? Jesus, their naming convention sucks. They need to put down this crappy naming convention and move on to names like Zune and Mesh, etc.