Reddit launches Cost-per-Click advertising

Reddit, the one-of-a-kind marketplace of raw discussion and self-appointed ‘front-page of the internet’ has launched a bid to attract ‘new types of advertisers’ by migrating many of its ad campaigns over to a cost-per-click (CPC) bidding model.

The 7th biggest website in the world, Reddit has garnered a reputation for being a loosely moderated an open platform where anyone can contribute to discussions on one of thousands of topical ‘subreddit’ boards. Subreddits can be about almost anything you can think of, and the partition of topics into separate communities gives the site an edge for advertisers looking for robust ways to target specific communities who identify with specific interests.

Marketers looking to achieve site traffic or better conversion rates have been moved over to CPC as of January 28 with a default bid price of $0.50 USD.

The site is hoping to gain some ground in the constant battle for digital ad-dollars with the new offering, and in the last few years has made major investments into its ad sales operation. The company, while being reluctant to share specifics, has claimed an increase in ad revenue five-fold over the last three years and now employs over 100 staff to manage the service to advertisers.

Whilst CPC may be new for Reddit, it certainly isn’t a new offering in the market. The CPC model was first pioneered by Google (heard of them?) back in 1999, and Reddit’s VP of Brand Partnerships Zubair Jandali admitted that the offering ‘isn’t groundbreaking’.

However, the move is hoped to attract advertisers who might not have pockets deeper than the Mariana Trench, Jandali explained:

“There is a class of marketers for whom the cost model is important and for those marketers, who only buy CPC or lower-funnel, Reddit becomes a more appealing option for them.”

It’s very early days for Reddit’s new foray into the lower-funnel part of the market, but brands such as Wayfair and Hired have already placed their bets on the service being successful – and starting to chip away at the ‘duopoly’ of Facebook and Google. Hired’s Chase Gladden is hoping that Reddit can help “differentiate from some of the bigger players currently dominating the ad world” as the firm plans campaigns to capture job applications from the site’s users, affectionately known as Redditors.

However, any prospective advertiser-turned-Redditor would be wise to be cautious, as the company insists that ads need to be relevant to their audience in order to have any success on the platform: “In my experience, it’s not that Redditors don’t like ads, it’s that they don’t like bad ads” Jandali added.

“On our platform, that means ads that are irrelevant to the community in question and tone deaf in what they convey. But when a brand comes correct – when they know how to engage and who to engage with – we tend to see that Reddit performs on par or better than much of the rest of the market”

So the race is on to capture the imaginations of Redditors in the world of ad-blockers and resistance to digital advertising, however with the appearance of in-line ads being almost identical to usual Redditor contributions it could very well be the time that truly engaging and relevant content can see great success.

Quick Facts –

  • 7th largest website in the world according to, with an average session lasting over 11 minutes.
  • Organised as a (vast) message board, with users able to subscribe to sub-boards categorised by topic, ranging from the very broad to highly niche.
  • Highly active community with an average of over 4500 contributions a minute

Is Reddit’s new move into CPC tempting you into launching a campaign on the platform? Have you already invested in PPC advertising on Reddit? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.


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