We’ve heard rumors for a little under five or six months now that Microsoft might be phasing out the Zune brand in favor of renaming it services and aligning them with either Xbox or Zune, and while we have been indifferent on the matter thus far the fact that Microsoft is hiring a Business Manager for the “Xbox Live Music Marketplace” may send a few people to the it could happen side of things.
“Are you interested in working in one of the most dynamic areas of the digital entertainment industry? Are you ready to deliver the content and experiences that customers want? If so, the Xbox LIVE Services Business and Strategy Team might be the right place for you. Our Interactive Entertainment Business (IEB) is responsible for products & services like Xbox, Kinect, Live Services, Zune, and Microsoft games.
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.”
Since the description goes out of it’s way to mention ‘evolving Zune music experiences offerings” theres definitely a possiblility that Microsoft bloggers could have been right about the name change. It’s also possible that the Xbox Live Music Marketplace refers to the Xbox side of the ecosystem that the Zune Team took over in the Fall 2010 Xbox Live update.
Source: MicrosoftCareers via ClubDirtHill
I’m hoping it evolves into a more robust Marketplace internationally. For eaample, we only have access to video here in Japan, and only movies. iTunes has been licensed here for a long time. there is no reason Zune/XBox music can’t do the same.