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



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 he’s 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 he’s looking to get fashion influencers, chefs and athletes on board. 

Rumble pitches itself as a free speech-oriented platform that’s 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. 

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

To widen Rumble’s 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 didn’t 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 — doesn’t appear to be involved in the outreach.

“I wouldn’t think he would cold call anybody,” Blanton said of Thiel. “He’s 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 YouTube’s 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 fund run by “Hillbilly Elegy” author and Ohio Republican Senate candidate J.D. Vance, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Peter Thiel
PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel is an investor in the site Rumble that’s trying to compete with YouTube.
John Lamparski/Getty Images


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