Peter Thiel-backed YouTube rival Rumble has established itself as a hotbed for right-wing political commentary – but the site is looking to expand its audience by courting controversial celebrities like Kanye West and Nicki Minaj, key support at The Post.
Darren Blanton, a frequent GOP campaign donor who invested in Rumble earlier this year alongside Thiel, told The Post he is calling out creators as the site embraces “fun, non-political things.”
“Honestly, all I spend my time in the media on is having creators who aren’t conservative for Rumble,” Blanton said. In addition to West and Minaj, Blanton said he’s looking to rally fashion influencers, chefs and athletes.
Rumble advertises itself as a free speech-focused platform that caters more to a wider variety of political opinions than YouTube or Facebook, where some posts can be deleted by corporate censors. Currently, its most popular users include Donald Trump – who joined in June after being started from Google-owned YouTube in January – as well as conservative pundits like Ben Shapiro, Dan Bongino and Jordan Peterson.
To broaden Rumble’s appeal, the site is looking to recruit celebrities like West and Minaj. Blanton declined to say if either had expressed interest in joining, but said he didn’t want the site “to be dragged down by just having politics.”
“We want people to come to the site, laugh and have fun,” he said.
While Blanton has cold-called celebrities as part of the effort, Thiel – the billionaire co-founder of PayPal whose other investments include Facebook and Palantir – doesn’t appear to be involved in raising awareness.
“I don’t think he would cold call anyone,” Blanton said of Thiel. “He’s more of a CS 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 the 33.7 billion YouTube visits during the same period, according to SimilarWeb analyzes.
The site was valued at around $ 500 million during the May fundraiser which included Palantir co-founder Thiel, Blanton and a venture capital fund led by “Hillbilly Elegy” author and Republican nominee. in the Ohio Senate, JD Vance, according to the Wall Street Journal.