Peter Thiel-backed YouTube rival Rumble wants to woo Kanye West, Nicki Minaj – New York Post

Posted: October 15, 2021 at 9:20 pm

A Peter Thiel-backed YouTube rival called Rumble has established itself as a place for right-wing political commentary but the site is looking to widen its audience by wooing controversial celebrities like Kanye West and Nicki Minaj, a key backer tells The Post.

Darren Blanton, a frequent donor to GOP campaigns who invested in Rumble earlier this year alongside Thiel, told The Post hes been making calls to creators as the site embraces non-political, fun stuff.

All I spend my time on in media, honestly, is getting creators that are not conservative for Rumble, Blanton said. In addition to West and Minaj, Blanton said hes looking to get fashion influencers, chefs and athletes on board.

Rumble pitches itself as a free speech-oriented platform thats more welcoming of a wider variety of political views than YouTube or Facebook, where certain posts can get stamped out by corporate censors. Currently, its most popular users include Donald Trump who joined in June after being booted from Google-owned YouTube in January as well as conservative pundits like Ben Shapiro, Dan Bongino and Jordan Peterson.

To widen Rumbles appeal, the site is looking to recruit celebrities like West and Minaj. Blanton declined to say whether either has expressed interest in joining, but said he didnt want the site to be dragged down by only having politics.

We want people to come onto the site and laugh and have fun, he said.

While Blanton has been cold-calling celebrities as part of the effort, Thiel the billionaire PayPal co-founder whose other investments include Facebook and Palantir doesnt appear to be involved in the outreach.

I wouldnt think he would cold call anybody, Blanton said of Thiel. Hes more of a C.S. Lewis than a Joel Osteen.

Toronto-based Rumble was founded in 2013 but remained relatively obscure until this year. Rumble had 129 million visits in September a tiny fraction of YouTubes 33.7 billion visits over the same period of time, according to analytics from SimilarWeb.

The site was valued at roughly $500 million during the May fundraising round that included Palantir co-founder Thiel, Blanton and a venture-capital fundrun by Hillbilly Elegy author and Ohio Republican Senate candidate J.D. Vance, according to the Wall Street Journal.

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Peter Thiel-backed YouTube rival Rumble wants to woo Kanye West, Nicki Minaj - New York Post

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