Reddit Australia head looks to grow its e-commerce credentials

Home to Reddit’s fourth largest user base and growing at 40% per year, Mumbrella's Emma Shepherd speaks to the newly-appointed country manager for Australia, David Ray, on how he's finding the role and what he hopes to achieve in the next 12 months.

Reddit officially said “G’Day” to Australia in July, a core market to its international growth strategy, as it opened its doors to its local business, based in Sydney’s Barangaroo.

Reddit’s new Australian team launched with locally-based community, engineering and sales staff, as well as country manager, David Ray, who joined Reddit from WooliesX, and has experience leading teams in Australia for Amazon, Twitter and Telstra.

Reddit country manager, David Ray (pictured)

Ray gives Mumbrella an update on his new role and what the company aims to achieve in the next 12 months.

“We want every Australian to find their place on Reddit, and building out local communities with local context is key to this ambition. The first step was establishing an Australian community team on the ground who have the required local nuance,” Ray says. “At the same time, we are scaling our Australian advertising business at pace with a growing national sales team. Connecting more brands and advertisers with the platform and setting them up for long term success is critical to achieving our goals in this market. Our ambition is to build on this strong foundation and grow our local communities.”

Ray adds that it’s been a huge few months for the company, since launching locally in July, as they continue to expand the team in Australia.

“We’ve built out the community and sales teams and have more than doubled our local workforce, so there is a lot of exciting momentum,” he says.

“Prior to launch, our global sales team was working with advertisers to connect them with Australia’s Reddit audiences,” adds Ray. “Now with a large in-market presence we’ve seen this accelerate, and interest from local advertisers has grown significantly. The industry feedback has been overwhelmingly welcoming and positive”.

In August, Reddit reached US$100 million (A$136 million) in revenue in the June quarter from direct advertising, a 192% increase compared to the same period last year.

The platform has also raised US$410 million (A$558 million) in series F funding, valuing it at US$10 billion (A$13 billion.)

The Australian team is managed by Reddit’s head of international, Tariq Mahmoud, who Ray reports to, and had already partnered with local entities, working with Australian-based moderators and communities, and establishing local brand partnerships.

“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,” Reddit’s chief operating officer, Jen Wong told Mumbrella in August.

It’s been an exciting year for Reddit both globally and here in Australia. “We have a lot of momentum behind our brand in Australia and the value of online community has never been more apparent or clear.

Passionate communities drive real world action and impact. It’s something we’ve long known to be true but this year it’s really felt like the rest of the world is also starting to see it,” Ray adds.

“We’re excited to continue building our community…  and to scale our ads business so that more local brands experience the value of connecting with the internet’s most passionate audiences. Globally, we’re constantly evolving our product offering to ensure the best and most engaging experience for our users and advertisers, so I’m excited to see this work continue to come to life,” he explains.

Australians spend an average 31 minutes on Reddit a day, with 62% of Australian users sitting in the 18-34 year old group, and 28% aged between 35-49. According to Reddit, 40% of its users in Australia are not on Twitter, 20% are not on Facebook, 23% are not on Instagram, 51% are not on Snapchat and 70% are not on TikTok.

In addition, the platform has recently partnered with Verto Analytics, to help cement a consumer path to purchase experience.

“Reddit is a community of communities, filled with people connecting around passions and interests in a very real, human way. While other social media sites might see users scrolling through content, Reddit users intentionally seek out topics and information of interest to them, engaging with people they don’t necessarily know but with whom they can connect thanks to their matching interests. This makes for an environment of highly-trusted exchanges, and an immense opportunity for brands.”

Ray adds: “What’s more, Reddit communities have emerged as an integral part of the e-commerce mix in the last 18 months. Consumers have increasingly turned to Reddit for recommendations on what to buy, especially as there’s been less chance to touch, try on or taste in real life.

“We found that compared to social platforms, purchase journeys that include Reddit lead to more informed, confident consumers that make quicker, higher-value purchase decisions, and become stronger advocates for those brands. It’s clear that brand participation in Reddit communities is increasingly valuable for advertisers and users alike.”

As for Ray’s motivations for taking the role of country manager, he explains: “I’ve spent my career building digital experiences that make customers happy, so joining Reddit is both a personal high point and the continuation of that journey. A key tenet of my career has been to work for organisations that live and breathe their values.

“Reddit has already achieved great success but there is so much still to come – it’s a very exciting time to be part of the business and I am looking forward to accelerating Reddit’s rapid growth in Australia.”

He adds that his previous experience at Twitter, Amazon and WooliesX has helped him build his obsession with delivering great customer service and Reddit’s strong strategic priorities.

“I’ve always been obsessed with delivering great customer experiences — always building and launching relevant products, services and businesses from end-to-end that improve people’s lives or just bring them joy. Be it publishing, social media, entertainment or sport, my focus has always been on the customer. This obsession aligns with Reddit’s strategic priorities, putting our communities and users at the heart of everything we do.”

“I’ve also had a career in industries of great technological and customer change, meaning I’ve had to constantly pivot and adapt. Working at Reddit means responding to our audiences’ immediate feedback and rapidly changing needs, so adaptability is crucial in this role.”

According to insights and data collected by Reddit, globally, the platform brings together more than 52 million daily active users across 100,000+ communities.

In Australia, user activity mimics global trends with gaming, crypto and entertainment among the most popular interest groups, but there is a clear local twist.  In Australia, r/australia with a 700,000 members where you can “chew the fat about Australia and Australians”, is the most popular subreddit among Australian users, with r/ausfinance and r/asx_bets following closely behind.

Unsurprisingly, r/afl and r/nrl also make the top ten Australian communities list, joining Reddit’s ever-popular sports interest group which attracted more than one billion screen views globally, for the month of April 2021 alone.

Reddit’s expansion to Australia comes after its successful market entries in Canada in March 2021 and the United Kingdom in September 2020.


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