Why do record companies try to make things (boy bands, teen pop singers, etc.) work when they don't work?
If you want an even more recent example, then let me remind you of The Jonas Brothers. For a few years, they had some hit singles, then they're singles charted lower and lower. The last three singles they would put out wouldn't even chart. A Ska Punk band named Reel Big Fish released an album the same year and it actually did better than Jonas Brothers. It doesn't say a whole lot for your band when a band barely anyone cares about anymore charts higher than yours.
Now, some might argue that they do work because they make money. But who cares about the money part of it? Think of bands that have been around for a while that still have a huge following today. That longevity is what makes a band work. AC/DC has been around since 1973, and they're most recent album debuted at #1. If the money aspect is really what we consider what "works," then that means those music producers, "talent" agents, and the like are no better than those Wall Street a$$holes who focus more on short term gain than long-term, stable profit.
And something else I'd like to mention. I appreciate quality pop music (even if it seems that there is much quantity of it lately). Adam Lambert, Adele, Lady GaGa, P!nk, Christian Aguilera, etc. But these shameless attempts at making safe, commercially-friendly, assembly-line music products I cannot appreciate and will refuse to support them.
And by the way, 654961: I've listened to alternative music that are just as empty and are just as much of a fad as the majority of pop music. And even a lot of Alt. Music is mainstream now. That's why they have things like Alt. Rock stations. But besides that, there are still some pop artists who aren't sell-outs, and they make meaningful music. Look at the ones I mentioned that make quality music. Every influence those artists have ever mentioned shines through in their music and have meaningful lyrics, whereas someone like Kesha mentions Bob Dylan and The Velvet Underground as influences (even though there's no way in hell she knows who either is) and her lyrics are shallow (but supposedely she wrote over 200 songs before her first album came out which makes one wonder, how bad were the songs that were rejected?).