Even More Problems at Rumble (RUM)
Rumble (NASDAQ: RUM — $1.46 billion) describes itself as “a high-growth neutral video platform designed to be immune to cancel culture.” Rumble is functionally equivalent to a conservative YouTube with stars ranging from Alex Jones to Andrew Tate, many of whom are paid millions to post on the platform. The company now faces a number of headwinds including a shrinking set of users, accelerating losses, continued trouble expanding into mainstream content, a lock-up expiration, legal issues for its major stars, newfound competition from Twitter (now X), and an exodus of advertisers. In sum, The Bear Cave believes Rumble is a business model that simply doesn’t work.
The Bear Cave previously published on Rumble in October 2022 and January 2023 and, among many issues, noted the company’s ties to extremist content and peculiar characters. Today, Rumble’s far-right content isn’t tough to find.
One example is an interview between internet personalities Alex Jones and Andrew Tate. The interview begins with Mr. Tate, who has been accused of human trafficking, saying, “The Matrix attacked me, I knew they always would...” In his opening monologue, Mr. Jones adds,
“You know where the CIA tunes in right? Where the Russians tune in? Where everybody tunes in? Where Tucker Carlson tunes in, where Joe Rogan and Elon Musk, you know where they tune in right? They tune in right here.”
Next to the Rumble interview is an ad for “Hunter’s Blend Coffee” with the tagline, “Tired of Woke Coffee?”
On the top of Rumble’s homepage yesterday was a livestream where a conservative news commentator reacted to an article about men attending a women’s only job fair in a two-hour livestream titled, “Today's News! Mass Shooting Ignored, Speaker Of The House, Woke Director Melty & More.”
Rumble also was the exclusive online livestream partner of the second Republican presidential debate, which garnered nearly 1.5 million total views on the platform.
That livestream was sponsored, in part, by Rumble advertiser Black Rifle Coffee (NYSE: BRCC — $686 million), a veteran-founded coffee company “built upon the mission to serve coffee and culture to people who love America.” Founded in 2014, Black Rifle Coffee has grown rapidly through social media and affiliate partnerships for its coffee subscriptions. The company is also no stranger to controversy and in May 2022 an activist wrote an open letter to Black Rifle CEO Evan Hafer that made allegations about improper stock grants and read, in part,
“It is our belief that you may be one of the most dangerous CEOs in America… It is our conclusion that your profiteering at the expense of Americans under the guise of helping military veterans reveals your shameless disregard for our most honorable citizens. Furthermore, we believe your actions as CEO reveals a pattern of gross negligence and dereliction of duty that can expose the company to a tsunami of litigation, which we believe your public shareholders deserve to be made aware of.”
Other peculiarities around Black Rifle Coffee abound.