Thought you were at the beginning of a quiet news cycle eh? Not so fast. It seems sometime this weekend Microsoft made some changes to the Channels area in Zune Marketplace.

Starting today (we assume), premium channels like Funkmaster Flash Weekly, and American Top 40 channels will no longer be updated on your device and at this moment in time no longer appear in the Zune  Marketplace. We’ve also noticed that many of the fitness podcasts have also gone the way of the Gigapet. A few months back ZuneInsider and Program Manager  for the Cross Screens Entertainment Team; Jessica Zune noted that some some channels we’re being shown the door but didn’t mention specifics. Channels, a feature that made it’s debut and Zune 3.0 and were a corner stone of the way the Zune service was to help everyone find even more music, similar to the way SmartDJ works. It’s also telling that while it was included in the software ahead of SmartDJ it is a feature that does appears on Zune on XBOX; it doesn’t appear on any of this years Zune releases including Windows Phone 7, Kin, or Zune on Xbox.

8 Comments on “Premium Channels Gone from Zune Marketplace”

  1. I would hope that a few of those channels return. The Billboard Top channel and KEXP for example were good. Yet, a lot of them hadn’t seen updates in like months and were seriously just taking up space. My issue with the channels that are still there is that a ton of artists are in categories that they shouldn’t be in. So when you’re doing top Electronic you shouldn’t see Janet Jackson.

    Therefore, the only channel I could really recommend people get out of this bunch is the Top Songs in Zune channel.

    • I have to admit that I don’t much see the purpose in channels any more. With SmartDJ the music finds me, not to mention i’m not waiting on some algorithm that doesn’t seem to work correctly, to update. I actually think just including internet radio streams could easily replace channels.

  2. I will say it seems like they are just cutting things out of the Zune service now. I wasn’t attached to the Channels that much but how much further are they going to cut stuff out? And why was it without warning?

  3. Well, Channels were one of the killer features for me. Helped me discover new stuff. Seriously impacts the usability and value of Zune for me, They were one of the distinguishing features of Zune over Rhapsody which I had for a long time, but Zune implemented them better, so I ditched Rhapsody. Without them, might be inclined to look at Rhapsody again–and slow down on adoption of WP7 which I was seriously considering.

    Oh well.

  4. Pissed this is gone.

    Smart DJ is not as smart as the people at KEXP who each week put together meticulous lists. Ditto for the Top 40 lists or the other radio-station based channels – or the New Music channel that the Zune staff put together.

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