Madonna vs. Facebook (Which is more valuable?)


Is this corner, a pop star. The biggest pop star in the world.

In the other corner, Facebook. The wannabe biggest social network in the world.

Which do you think is more valuable?


Maybe I should change the question.

In one room you have Madonna.

You can do what you want with her for the rest of her life (she’s 49). Make her put out an album a month. Put her on tour constantly. Pimp her clothes. TV. Movies. Whatever.

In the other room you have Facebook. And you can do whatever you want with it. Slap ads on it and whatever else you want.

So which would you take? Oh, and you have a budget of 50 million to handle promotion for either.

The reason I ask this is because I really think I’ll take the girl.


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15 Comments on “Madonna vs. Facebook (Which is more valuable?)”

  1. David L Says:

    Char, you are crazy.

  2. kid mercury Says:

    i agree with you chartreuse. the one thing i’m not sure about though is madonna’s market value. i’d feel more comfortable if the question were phrased, eminem or facebook? i’d take eminem.

    the ironic thing is that one of the things i’d do is take that talent (i.e. madonna), launch a social network around the talent (use it promote other artists as well, like the artists on madonna’s record label), and then try to get a community of developers to build stuff around that social network. 🙂

  3. Dave Says:

    There isn’t a Scarlett Johansson option!??!?!?

    C, the way that I look at it, the youths of today brand themselves with technology like we branded ourselves with music back in the day. I made sure that my peers associated me with Duke Ellington , REM, Metallica and SRV. Today, I would be MySpace, Nokia N95, Limewire, my Toshiba Satellite laptop, Coltrane, Dusty Springfield, and Arcade Fire.

    Facebook is to MySpace today, what Madonna was to Joan Jett.

  4. Noah Brier Says:

    From Bubblegeneration this morning: “Think about that – the biggest star in the world, arguably, is worth (much) less than even a Myspace at acquisition; her value is more on the order of a small-mediumish 2.0 acquisition like”

  5. but dotspotter worth more than them al l 🙂

  6. rafi Says:

    Madonna is done and Eminem is doner.

  7. Clyde Smith Says:

    Nobody has “acquired Madonna” and she can’t be put in a box.

    This seems more impressive in terms of Live Nation’s aspirations than Madonna’s. It’s a blow to the major labels because it signals a reshuffling and more players with which to contend but mostly it sounds like a sustaining innovation rather than a disruptive innovation.

    Live Nation going this route is a lot more immediately threatening than Nike putting out a mixtape.

    So Live Nation appears to be the threat. Clue me in as to why I’m wrong, if you would.

    In terms of your either/or, you come across as the kind of guy who would always take the girl, if given a choice.

  8. Brian Clark Says:

    >>In terms of your either/or, you come across as the kind of guy who would always take the girl, if given a choice.

    And then lose her.

    OK, that was out of bounds. Forgive me. 🙂

  9. chartreuse Says:

    Some great comments (and of course Brian Clark!).

    Riff Raff first! “Better to have played and lost…”

    Now the reason I bought up this question is because of the Umair comment that Noah mentions. How can it be that the biggest star in the world is worth less than a web app?

    Now maybe I’m getting old (though much younger than Madonna) but I feel it’s always smarter to bet on actual people.

    There are many things pointing to the fact that Facebook will have a much shorter lifespan than Madonna. Even if we started both clocks today I would bet on the girl.

    Unlike web apps, people cannot be copied. Yet.

    Clyde, Live Nation is making a big bet but I’m actually not that impressed by it. They are only doing what Record Labels should have been doing years ago. It’s a natural model for the age. When everyone wants to be a star the way you make money is by becoming a producer.

    What Live Nation has done is going to be copied by various folks. The advantage Live Nation has is the fact that they own venues.

    I look for Ticketmaster to start doing the same thing…

  10. Clyde Smith Says:

    “They are only doing what Record Labels should have been doing years ago.”

    That’s why I say it’s a sustaining innovation. The only reason major labels have been able to trudge along and focus on defensive maneuvers as a group is that they’re such a small group and their actions at all levels reflect a price-fixing culture.

    If they were truly competitive they would have to move forward rather than trying to hold everything back. So they might be forced to shift but it’s still in a direction that fits their overall agenda.

    People are treating the Madonna deal like it’s disruptive and a challenge to the major labels when it’s really a company that hasn’t played this games exploring the next step for the major labels.

    But it’s still about making deals that focus on monetizing big stars and exclusive content.

    “When everyone wants to be a star the way you make money is by becoming a producer.”

    This is something else and a much more interesting idea to consider though venues like YouTube that are making everybody a star have mostly disaggregated the role of the producer. What is a producer’s value add in the age of self-production?

    Glad you’re back, chartreuse.

  11. chartreuse Says:

    that question deserves a post!

  12. Mike Lewis Says:

    If you’re talking money. Don’t you think that you generate more money from ads from facebook than you could from pimping out Madonna over the next 2-5 years? This is b/c the scope of FB is much broader and it’s more relevant today. So if it’s all money, then FB is the easy answer.

    If it’s a longevity question — who is going to be more relevant in 15 years? Then i think Madonna could be a better answer. Web apps are temporal things that are constantly being improved. Will FB continue to improve and be the darling in 15 years? Probably not but it will make WAY more money in it’s small period of fame than any artist.

  13. madonnasworld Says:

    wow, i cant beleive how many different ways my photo that i took of madona has been photoshopped. I dont know why, i mean it looks good in its original form the best, but thanks anyway for posting it 🙂

  14. range Says:

    Facebook, still waiting. I don’t like the pimped links in my feeds. I use it to keep in touch with friends back home in Canada. It’s interesting, but has it’s faults. It has potential, just like YouTube had in the past. I wouldn’t be surprised if Google made a move for it at some point.

  15. Jonathan Says:

    Madonna rocks and she’ll be here forever, although Facebook is fun, it is getting boring, like nothing to do these days … money is always on Madonna. She has re-invented herself every album and it just keeps on getting better and better. She is almost 50, and props to her for having a body like that. I mean if she can have it, then why not show it? I mean all these people saying how she shouldn’t be doing these things on her videos, i say let loose Jonathan, 18.

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