Tech

Thiel-backed YouTube rival Rumble wants to woo Kanye, Nicki Minaj

A Peter Thiel-backed YouTube rival known as Rumble has established itself as a spot for right-wing political commentary — however the web site is trying to widen its viewers by wooing controversial celebrities like Kanye West and Nicki Minaj, a key backer tells The Put up.

Darren Blanton, a frequent donor to GOP campaigns who invested in Rumble earlier this 12 months alongside Thiel, informed The Put up he’s been making calls to creators as the location embraces “non-political, enjoyable stuff.” 

“All I spend my time on in media, actually, is getting creators that aren’t conservative for Rumble,” Blanton mentioned. Along with West and Minaj, Blanton mentioned he’s trying to get style influencers, cooks and athletes on board. 

Rumble pitches itself as a free speech-oriented platform that’s extra welcoming of a greater diversity of political opinions than YouTube or Fb, the place sure posts can get stamped out by company censors. At present, its hottest customers embody Donald Trump — who joined in June after being booted from Google-owned YouTube in January  — in addition to conservative pundits like Ben Shapiro, Dan Bongino and Jordan Peterson. 

Darren Blanton (pictured) is an investor in Rumble.
R.Umar Abbasi for NY Put up

To widen Rumble’s attraction, the location is trying to recruit celebrities like West and Minaj. Blanton declined to say whether or not both has expressed curiosity in becoming a member of, however mentioned he didn’t need the location to “be dragged down by solely having politics.”

“We would like individuals to come back onto the location and chortle and have enjoyable,” he mentioned.

Whereas Blanton has been cold-calling celebrities as a part of the trouble, Thiel — the billionaire PayPal co-founder whose different investments embody Fb and Palantir — doesn’t look like concerned within the outreach.

“I wouldn’t suppose he would chilly name anyone,” Blanton mentioned of Thiel. “He’s extra of a C.S. Lewis than a Joel Osteen.” 

Toronto-based Rumble was based in 2013 however remained comparatively obscure till this 12 months. Rumble had 129 million visits in September — a tiny fraction of YouTube’s 33.7 billion visits over the identical time frame, in keeping with analytics from SimilarWeb

The positioning was valued at roughly $500 million through the Could fundraising spherical that included Palantir co-founder Thiel, Blanton and a venture-capital fund run by “Hillbilly Elegy” writer and Ohio Republican Senate candidate J.D. Vance, in keeping with the Wall Avenue Journal.

Peter Thiel
PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel is an investor within the web site Rumble that’s making an attempt to compete with YouTube.
John Lamparski/Getty Photos

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