The debate over whether public money should be used to fund the arts is a well rehearsed and vibrant one.
But one area that has generally been able to look after itself is pop music - regarded as a commercially competitive industry whose products count as one of the UK's great cultural exports.
At least until now.
Alan Davey, chief executive of Arts Council England, says the market in popular music is "failing" and the industry is guilty of a "short-termism".
He cites an "X Factor" culture that promises overnight celebrity and a tendency for major record labels to drop an artist if their first or second album underperforms.
"They want talent to be delivered to them ready-made," he says. "They're not prepared to take a risk over a long period of time investing in talent."
"It's something you see lots of industries get into when they're under pressure.
"So they'll concentrate on giving the public what they think the public want, rather than exploring and getting the public to find things that they didn't know they want."