Pop music, by definition, is a genre of popular music that emphasizes upbeat melodies and catchy choruses. While commercial success is often a primary goal for pop artists, it is not a requirement for the genre itself. Pop music can be produced independently or by major record labels, and its commercial success can vary depending on various factors.
According to an article published by the Oxford University Press, "Pop music is defined by its mass appeal, and its commercial success is often seen as a hallmark of its value." However, the article goes on to explain that the commercial success of pop music is not always a necessary component of the genre. Pop music can still be produced and enjoyed outside of mainstream commercial success.
An example of this is the DIY pop music movement, where artists create and release their music independently without the backing of a major record label. These artists often prioritize creative expression over commercial success, and their music may not achieve widespread popularity. However, their work is still considered pop music because of its adherence to the genre's defining characteristics.
Furthermore, there are instances of pop music that prioritize artistic expression over commercial success, such as concept albums or experimental pop. These albums may not achieve the same level of commercial success as more mainstream pop music, but they are still considered part of the pop music genre.
In conclusion, while commercial success is often associated with pop music, it is not a necessary component of the genre. Pop music can be produced independently or by major record labels, and its commercial success can vary depending on various factors. The defining characteristics of pop music are its upbeat melodies and catchy choruses, and as long as these elements are present, the music can be considered part of the pop music genre.