Reddit debuts Australian presence, appoints Woolies digital strategist as chief

Social news aggregation site claims a local user base that's growing 40 per cent year-on-year and is unique among social media platforms

Reddit has made its official debut on Australian shores and brought on former marketer, digital strategist and Woolies X leader, David Ray, as its country manager.

The social news aggregation site said the decision to launch locally came after recognising the Australian market as its fourth largest user base globally, a base that’s growing 40 per cent year-on-year. Reddit also recently launched operations in Canada (March 2021) and a dedicated presence in the UK last September.

As part of the Sydney-based setup, the company has brought on former WooliesX GM of digital platforms, David Ray, as country manager. Ray has spent the last year with Woolworths division.

Prior to this, Ray was country head for Amazon Music for more than two years. His resume also includes director of audiences and growth for Twitter in Australia, GM of the NRL digital media business at Telstra, and head of sections for Fairfax Media. Ray is reporting into Reddit head of international, Tariq Mahmoud.

“We’ve been fortunate to experience strong organic growth from our Australian user base in recent years, and with this comes a significant opportunity to level-up our local offering in a more focused and nuanced way,” said Reddit chief operating officer, Jen Wong. “From building out our highly engaged Australian communities to finding homes for local brands on the platform, this launch is just the beginning of our investment in the market and key to our wider international vision as we continue to scale Reddit at pace.”

As part of its official launch announcement, Reddit provided several statistics about its local audience. Key among these was the popularity of gaming, crypto and entertainment topics – a similar trend to global users.

However, the company noted unique popularity of sub-Reddit group, r/Australia, which has a mantra of ‘chewing the fat about Australia and Australians’. A local view on leading global communities is also a unique aspect of platform use locally, with r/askanaustralian, r/australianteachers and r/ausproperty the fastest growing communities on the platform for local users in 2021.

According to Reddit, Australians also spend an average of 31 minutes per day on its platform, contributing 158 million posts, comments and votes each month. Of these, just over six in 10 are 13-34-year olds and 28 per cent are aged between 35 and 49.  

The company also claims 40 per cent of its users are not on Twitter, one in five don’t use Facebook, 23 per cent aren’t on Instagram, 51 per cent don’t use Snapchat and 70 per cent aren’t on TikTok. Overall, Reddit claims 52 million daily active users and more than 100,000 communities worldwide.

In a statement, UM US chief digital officer, Joshua Lowcock, said its local sales team will be working to help Australian brands participate in the Reddit platform through campaigns, trends and insights, and added the media agency is working to help evolve the Reddit Ads platform at a global level.

A Reddit spokesperson told CMO the company has several global advertisers targeting Australian users as part of their campaigns and is building out its local advertising business. Globally, it debuted an in-house creative strategy agency, KarmaLab, in May to support brands working with the platform. Brands that have executed campaigns on Reddit to date include Volvo and Tushy.

“Reddit is a cultural phenomenon and a great platform for brands wishing to connect with customers, fans, and advocates who influence brand loyalty and purchase decisions," Lowstock claimed. "Investing in a dedicated Australian presence and local approach to community and moderation will reinforce Reddit’s market position for locally-based brands and advertisers seeking to navigate the depth and breadth of the platform and unlock its immense value.” 

According to Hootsuite and We Are Social's Digital January 2021 Report and using SEMrush data, Reddit was ranked 10th in top websites by traffic in Australia with 76.4 million visits. Average time per visit was 15 minutes 35 seconds. This reflected male user share of 64.1 per cent and 35.3 per cent share of the 25-34-year old market. The report also noted 18.5 per cent of Australian Internet users aged between 16 and 64 when surveyed reported using Reddit over the past month.

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