What Rush Limbaugh Joining Twitter Says About Media Industry

This week, Rush Limbaugh joined a brand-new social media platform called Twitter. Despite years of criticizing the cesspool, Limbaugh and his show have finally joined the fray.

Limbaugh’s team has made various accounts before, but the latest, @RealRLimbaugh, will serve as the radio icon’s vehicle to write and promote show content.

“We are gonna be doubling down,” Limbaugh says. “We’re gonna be doing everything we can in these last three weeks to take the message of preserving the American way of life, to take the message that America is a good and decent, it is almost a savior of a country, that it is being maligned, it is being savagely impugned.”

As I tweeted Tuesday, this decision is telling. With the largest radio audience in the country and over three decades of industry dominance, Limbaugh doesn’t need Twitter. But he always keeps his finger on the pulse of the American conservatism, and he now sees the importance of making the transition.

Industry experts agree, telling OutKick that digital clips are crucial to the future of content.

YouTube and Facebook can also rapidly elevate a talent’s distribution, perhaps even more than Twitter can.

Obviously, Limbaugh doesn’t need to grow. He is as established as any media figure alive. That said, every digital user he adds is a new and different consumer. Twitter gives Limbaugh a way to appeal to a different demographic.

Unfortunately in 2020, much of the media conversation occurs on various social platforms. Even with his enormous radio audience, Limbaugh is not discussed nearly as often as Tucker Carlson, Ben Shapiro, Sean Hannity, or Rachel Maddow.

Talk radio isn’t on the radar of online writers, who are far more likely to write about a show’s Twitter clip than a radio segment. Assuming Limbaugh’s account takes off — it already boasts over 200,000 followers — his Twitter presence will generate headlines that’d otherwise go unnoticed.

Look at Keith Olbermann. As embarrassing as his most recent video is, it has been discussed by many different media figures on many different platforms. Olbermann just left TV for YouTube a week ago.

Direct social links also bolster podcasts numbers.

The Rush Limbaugh Show recently removed its podcast from behind the paywall on his website. Though Limbaugh’s show jumped the charts after a two-hour interview with President Donald Trump on Friday, it often ranks behind Mark Levin and Glenn Beck, both of whom utilize the internet as well as traditional radio broadcasts. It’d hardly shock anyone if Limbaugh’s show is now a factor on podcast charts.

This decision may also yield financial benefits for Limbaugh, though he doesn’t necessarily need them. Digital video monetization is growing, and show clips on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter can all generate serious revenue.

There was no way, especially with the current interest in American politics, Limbaugh would sit this one out. Welcome to 2020, Maha Rushie. Mega Twitter dittos.

Follow Bobby Burack on Twitter @burackbobby_.

Written by Bobby Burack

Bobby Burack covers media, politics, and sports at OutKick.

3 Comments

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  1. Bobby, so glad to see you are a ditto head! I knew I liked you. I started listening to Rush in 1992 on an AM station in central Illinois and have continued listening everywhere I’ve lived. Back before the internet, I would have to search AM and FM stations one by one to find his voice. He has kept a huge loyal audience for 32 years despite staying on radio. He’s had plenty of chances to go to satellite, but never did out of respect and loyalty to radio. He likely would have been paid in the same range as Howard Stern if he’d gone (20+ million loyal listeners for decades).
    He added his app last year which has extra content and allows many of us to listen to the show whenever we can’t listen live. He has been the voice of reason for a generation and I am so happy to know there’s a younger audience out there that appreciates him too.
    Twitter sucks and is a cesspool, but it makes sense for him to be on it at least through the election. He should join Parler as well because his following on the conservative site would likely be even bigger. Thank you for writing this article!

  2. My prayers go out to Rush who is fighting cancer. Ditto head here as well. I don’t do Twitter but encourage Rush to use his influence in anyway to help us survive through the election. Latinos for Trump!!!

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