Posted by Lynnie: …”The culture defines the threshold. The fans and the artists, together, declare their opinion about when the line is crossed.” I agree with that bit. I’m personally not a believer in ‘selling out’ – as long what the artist(s) is doing is lucrative, credible and honest, what does is matter HOW they did it?
M: “Selling Out” will always be a controversial topic, because it’s subjective. Your definition is likely different from Rihanna’s, which is unquestionably different from Pearl Jam’s. I think most artists want to “do things that are lucrative, credible, and honest” but sometimes you are forced to make decisions where those three things are at odds.
Here’s a scenario where it gets complicated: You have a single and an album you want to promote. The radio stations’ feedback isn’t good, nobody really wants to play it because they’ve never heard of you. A soft drink company is willing to pay you $50,000 to include your song on their commercial (you get money and promo). They’ll promote the song and ad, plus they’ll donate $5,000 to your favorite charity…but they expect you to let them put their logo on all of the ads and concert tickets (equal in print size to your band’s logo), and they want you to wear their logo t-shirt at 50% of your gigs, and in the ad. Tricky.
If you’ve got a good idea, maybe it does the idea a disservice to hold it to a smaller audience. But never make decisions that compromise or destroy the integrity of your idea in exchange for a larger audience. Don’t turn your band or song into something you’re uncomfortable with in order to make a buck.