What Is Rumble, the RNC’s Livestreaming Partner?

Rumble is valued at over $2 billion. 22% of its most prominent accounts have been banned or demonetized on other platforms.

Rumble is an online video-sharing platform, and one of the more well-known alternatives to the industry-dominant YouTube.

It was first founded in 2013 as a YouTube alternative, and has found enough popularity among US conservatives to become the livestreaming host of the RNC’s second Republican presidential primary debate in the evening of September 27, 2023.

Just 20% of the nation’s population had heard of Rumble as of a December 2022 survey, so the platform is having a moment. Here’s what to know about the service.

Fast Facts About Rumble

  • 20% of Americans know what Rumble is, according to a 2022 Pew Research poll, while 2% have used it.
  • Rumble is valued at over $2 billion.
  • Rumble reported 78 million active users globally as of 2022.
  • 76% of those who get news from Rumble on a regular basis identify as Republicans or lean toward the Republican Party.
  • Around a fifth of the most prominent Rumble accounts (22%) have been either banned or demonetized on other platforms.
  • 55% of the most prominent accounts promote accounts on other sites, including Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.
  • Rumble is blocked in France for refusal to remove Russian state media accounts from the platform.

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Rumble’s cloud platform also currently supports Truth Social, a right-wing social platform launched by former US president Donald Trump in February 2022.

Rumble’s Right-Wing Political Connections

Rumble itself has courted right-wing names in recent years, even offering Joe Rogan a $100 million podcast deal that he rejected in 2022.

Most recently, Rumble made headlines in connection to one prominent user of the platform, Russell Brand, an English comedian recently accused of rape and sexual and emotional abuse by five women, following a joint investigation by The Times, The Sunday Times and Channel 4’s documentary series Dispatches.

Rumble has positioned itself as an alternative to YouTube’s content moderation, saying that it is the “free speech” option, “immune to cancel culture,” and is separate from “big tech platforms that continue to embrace ‘cancel culture’.”

Rumble does have its own content moderation policy, which forbids obscenity, stalking, and discrimination.

Rumble homepage

The Rumble homepage.

Rumble and Google Ads

Rumble is 90% funded by Google Ads, the popular pay-per-click online advertising platform developed by Google.

But since the platform’s anti-“cancel culture” positioning draws in plenty of content that’s explicitly not brand-safe, Rumble’s recent rise in public awareness has brought additional scrutiny: Burger King, Asos and HelloFresh have all pulled ads from Rumble within the last week, following Rumble’s apparent support of Russell Brand.

Lack of transparency surrounding Google Ad buys has long been a boon to platforms and publishers that are very brand-unsafe but drive a lot of traffic: They can profit from Google’s pay-per-click model without the knowledge of the businesses who place ads directly through Google.

Check My Ads Institute has a solution, however. The digital adtech transparency watchdog has released a helpful guide to blocking Rumble from your company’s ad campaigns, should this be deemed necessary.

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Written by:
Adam is a writer at Tech.co and has worked as a tech writer, blogger and copy editor for more than a decade. He was a Forbes Contributor on the publishing industry, for which he was named a Digital Book World 2018 award finalist. His work has appeared in publications including Popular Mechanics and IDG Connect, and his art history book on 1970s sci-fi, 'Worlds Beyond Time,' is out from Abrams Books in July 2023. In the meantime, he's hunting down the latest news on VPNs, POS systems, and the future of tech.
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