Business News

The ten most-read news stories on the CMU site in January 2014

By | Published on Monday 3 February 2014


It may be nine months since Hilco swooped in to save the day, but the HMV story still has a few twists and turns to come yet. As the high street entertainment retailer’s former flagship store on Oxford Street in London was closing down – the brand moving back to its original (but much smaller) site up the road – news came in that a further nine stores around the country were due to shut, which was our most popular news story in January 2014.

The closures were due to new owner Hilco being unable to negotiate more favourable rent agreements (in some cases pushing to pay no rent at all, according to one shopping centre). Though eventually one of these stores, in Kettering, was saved thanks to a last minute deal.

Digital music-related stories also featured strongly in the top ten most popular stories, with The Pirate Bay’s convoluted journey back to its original Swedish domain name still attracting a lot of readers to On the more legit side of things, the BPI released figures showing that the British record industry had brought in over £1 billion in 2013, £103 million of that from streaming. Also, there was a report on the imminent launch of Neil Young’s high quality digital music service, Pono, at this year’s South By Southwest.

Elsewhere on the business side of things, we had the news that Neil Fox had re-signed his contract with Magic FM (as Pat Sharp and David Jensen were dropped from the Smooth schedules), Snow Patrol signed Belle & Sebastian to their publishing company, and Avicii did a deal to endorse Njoy e-cigarettes.

In artist news, a report from 2012 on a controversial (possibly because he was bored) interview with Ariel Pink surged back up the charts, while a more recent report on news of the debut album from Sufjan Stevens’ Sisyphus project came in sixth. Finally on our list, there was news that UB40 weren’t best pleased about the formation of a new band by former frontman Ali Campbell and two other ex-members. Their main gripe is that this new band is called UB40 too.

In CMU features, most popular in January was the overview of our ten Artists Of The Year for 2013 (with our profile of one of those artists, J-pop group Perfume, coming in at number four). A summary of our annual report for subscribers to our premium service, looking at key trends in the music business in 2013 came in second, followed by a Festival Line-Up Update column with details on the 2014 edition of V Festival, and in fifth, with Tinnitus Awareness Week fast approaching, an archive piece on the condition written by Eddy Temple-Morris.

The top ten most-read news stories in full:

01: HMV closes stores where more favourable rents not available
02: Avicii endorses Njoy e-cigarettes for American squirrels and naked Europeans
03: Snow Patrol’s Polar Patrol Publishing signs Belle & Sebastian
04: Ariel Pink talks drugs, gay marriage and “immature” new LP
05: The Pirate Bay returns to Swedish domain name
06: New Sufjan Stevens project Sisyphus to release album
07: Streams double in billion pound plus year for British record industry
08: Fox renews Magic contract, as Jensen and Sharp axed from Smooth
09: Neil Young to launch Pono at SXSW
10: UB40 hit out at former members’ use of their band’s name

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