I just read the most amazing post over at Norman Lebrecht's Slipped Disc called "How to Buy a Record Review". Go and have a look. It boils down to the most well-known American publisher of reviews of classical recordings offers favorable reviews in exchange for buying ads. A nice piece of behind-the-scenes corruption. Now doesn't that explain why a number of artists seem to have much better careers than they deserve? My experience with the music business is that it is a very tough business indeed and many musicians are simply at the mercy of shady operators.
I think that the best way to fight corruption in the music business is through focus on quality. If musicians and audiences look for quality that can filter out the poor musicians. It is not the outstanding musicians that need to buy record reviews--well, maybe in a corrupt situation, they do. But in a halfway fair system they won't need to. The only answer to the celebrity, super-model trend in classical music, is to return the focus to the music instead of Yuja Wang's dress. Here are several posts of mine on what music criticism can do: