Having stumbled with his social network, Donald Trump now has aspirations to create a right-wing rival to Netflix.
Trump Media and Technology Group (TMTG) has posted ads on job sites seeking to hire a content development manager and content acquisition professional for TMTG+, a streaming service that will “provide big-tent entertainment, exciting documentaries, sports programming, and more,” according to the company —which claims that “the American public is seeking ‘non-woke’ entertainment, and TMTG+ will provide content for all to enjoy.”
The job descriptions say the streamer will offer “a wide variety of non-scripted, scripted, and original content.”
Qualifications for the content development manager include being able to “generate and develop internal concepts for original unscripted content, short form series episodes and specials,” stay current on “developing trends at networks” and “stay aware of emerging talent and upcoming non-scripted programming.”
The content acquisition job includes handling licensing, negotiating distribution rights and “participating in all aspects of new business development (deal sourcing, financial analysis and forecasting, term sheet drafting, long-form drafting, contract negotiation, closing, on-going [sic] relationship management, etc.).”
Other than the ads and a mention of Scott St. John, a former NBC producer, as a programming executive for TMTG+ in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission related to the company’s plan to go public, no specifics about the proposed streamer, including timing, have been released.
According to news reports, as of December, the SEC was conducting inquiries around the proposed merger of special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Digital World Acquisition Corp./DWAC with TMTG.
Last November, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) sent a letter to the SEC asserting that the DWAC/TMTG deal “is looking suspiciously like a scheme in which 'the salesmen behind all of this should be fine, even if those who fall for their sales pitch get screwed.'"
Trump Social “hasn’t exactly set the social media world on fire yet,” notes Forbes senior contributor Andy Meek. “It should go without saying… that building a media content business from scratch will prove to be an order of magnitude more complex than setting up a property like a social network, or its equivalent,” although it’s “not impossible.”
After an initial surge of interest and downloads after its launch on Feb. 21, Trump Social fizzled.
Two weeks in, it had fewer than 80,000 followers and had fallen to No. 57 in the App Store, behind Tinder and Planet Fitness Workouts, according to Axos Pro Rata.
By the end of March, Sensor Tower was reporting that downloads of the app from the Apple App Store had dropped to about 60,000 per week (downloads were down 93% from the launch date, when it generated 872,000 installs). Total downloads were estimated at about 1.2 million. As of April 4, the account had 823,000 followers (above).
After posting once before Truth Social actually launched, Trump was absent until April 28, when he reappeared with a post declaring: “I'M BACK! #COVFEFE"
Days before he began posting, the Truth Social app began to rise back up the ranks in the App Store charts, hitting #1 on April 29 — although it was down to #4 as of May 1.
The revival appears to have stemmed from Trump claiming on Fox News on April 25 that he would not return to Twitter — from which he was banned for his inflammatory posts after the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol — even if Twitter's erstwhile new owner, Elon Musk, lifted the ban, as Musk this week confirmed he would do. (This morning, Musk tweeted that the Twitter deal was on hold. See separate news item.).
Instead, Trump said he was “going to stay on Truth,” alluding to the social app.