For those who are familiar with it, Punk Rock is a popular style of music because it allows for more freedom than the mainstream genres. Lyrically, artists of this genre can express themselves without fear of being criticized for their radical ideas. Also, most punk rock bands are on independent, widely unknown labels. This is a benefit in that they do not have to worry about how their image or behavior affects the image of their label, as do artists on major labels such as Sony or Warner Brothers. Another advantage of punk rock is that the artists are free to musically try new things and explore new styles. Similarly, since the birth of Mtv is the 1980s, pop music has seemed to move in a direction which favors pretty faces over talent, this is not true for punk rock. Finally, many people would prefer the intimate setting of a punk rock show to the massive stadium concerts of a more mainstream artist. Because they are not seen on tv or played on the radio, punk rock bands rely on fans to share music they enjoy with other people and the relationship that is formed, and the appreciation from the bands, gives punk rock a whole new aspect that might not be enjoyed in other genres.
We all saw how recently many pop or country artist who expressed unfavorable political views were condemned for voicing these opinions. However, artists like the Clash, Anti-flag, Propaghandi, Bad Religion, and others have been expressing political and social oppositions for years, free from media backlash. Controversy is the essence of punk rock. The movement was started by bands like the New York Dolls and the Sex Pistols, in the late 1970's, with a conscious effort to go against the norm. More than a musical style, punk rock is a vehicle for artists to express opinions, question authority, and challenge listeners to think for themselves.
Since it's birth, punk rock has developed in multiple directions.