Breaking Two Million Views on Rumble

by Ron Unz, The Unz Review:

As of a few years ago, Glenn Greenwald was probably the most famous journalist in the world. And actually, given the striking decline in that mainstream profession, he might still be so today, since few other obvious names come to mind.

Meanwhile, I’d never heard of Dan Bongino until I read something about him in the New York Times earlier this year. Apparently, he’s a former Secret Service agent and right-wing pro-Trump pundit, with a strong following on the Internet.

But both these individuals were prominently mentioned in a March Times article on the rise of Rumble, a rapidly-growing video platform competing with Youtube.


Capitalizing on its relative lack of censorship, Rumble has become popular among the sorts of content-creators whose views have earned them strikes or shadow-bans on Youtube, or fear that would happen in the future. Such a group obviously leans heavily to the pro-Trump right, but not exclusively so. Indeed, the Times highlighted Greenwald’s official partnership with Rumble, a partnership that recently led him to announce plans for a one-hour nightly news program.

Meanwhile, according to the Times, Bongino had gained national stature as the host who had replaced Rush Limbaugh in some radio markets. After suffering from Youtube restrictions during the fall of 2020, he had shifted to Rumble, even taking an equity stake in that company. As of March, he’d accumulated more than 2 million subscribers on that platform and was streaming his live daily show, apparently becoming Rumble’s top broadcast star.

According to a follow-up Times article from last week, other developments may soon further bolster Rumble’s position. Earlier this year, Donald Trump had launched his own social network, Truth Social, but it has encountered a long series of severe business problems, and therefore has a clouded future. Although the Times obviously hates Trump with a vengeance and wishes him ill, the objective facts they cite do seem considerable, including the angry departure of various executives and ongoing federal investigations that putt his planned financing at risk.

So if these problems persist and Trump can’t obtain his funding, a possible solution might be to merge his company with Rumble, which already shares many of the same ideological supporters. Indeed, the Times story even claims that half the people currently working at Trump’s Internet company are actually Rumble employees, who handle his back office operation. Although the traffic to Trump’s network dwarfs that of its other alternative social network competitors such as Gab or Parler, those monthly numbers are less than one-tenth Rumble’s total, and apparently have been stagnating during most of this past year. Meanwhile, Rumble has been rapidly growing, more than doubling its monthly visits since March. So a merger with Rumble would certainly create the leading alternative media challenger to the established Tech giants.

Yet despite Rumble’s recent growth, its viewership is still merely a tiny sliver of that possessed by its giant video rival. According to SimilarWeb, Rumble had around 100 million visits in August, while Youtube had 33 billion, a figure more than 300 times larger. Given such a vastly larger potential audience, its easy to understand why Youtube remains the home of Max Blumenthal’s Grayzone and why Tulsi Gabbard selected it as the primary location of the new video channel that she recently established.

Yet content-creators remain fearful of dreaded Youtube Strikes, and are sometimes cautious about what they will display on that platform. For example, Gabbard recently had a long and important interview with Prof. Jeffrey Sachs on the serious risks of World War III, yet she only chose to release it on her Rumble channel, perhaps fearing a dreaded Youtube strike. The video attracted well over 100,000 views there, but if not shadow-banned might surely have attained an enormously larger audience on Youtube.

My own experience with Rumble has certainly been very favorable. Earlier this year, I did several lengthy podcast interviews presenting my case that the global Covid epidemic was the result of an American biowarfare attack against China (and Iran), and I’ve regularly promoted and highlighted these in my subsequent articles and columns. But although they were released on a variety of different video platforms, only their performance on Rumble has made waves. For example, my hour-long Geopolitics & Empire video has attracted nearly 600,000 views on Rumble, but only 9,000 on Youtube, presumably due to shadow-banning. A couple of my other podcasts have done even better on Rumble, with my two hour Red Ice TV interview reaching 650,000 views and the much shorter “Smoking Gun” presentation with Kevin Barrett breaking 850,000 views.

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