Why we Beta
We want to get behind the work of bold, forward-thinking media startups in Asia.

Beta is a celebration of media startups in Asia. Come celebrate with us.

We want to get behind the work of bold, forward-thinking media startups in Asia. We believe a true transformation of media can only come if we’re learning and supporting each other; it takes an ecosystem.

In 2019, we brought together some of the smartest, most humble, and generous people we know across this ecosystem — media startup founders, investors, educators, donors, journalists, students, and tech folks. 

People who champion people. That’s the community we want to build. Mavericks, firestarters, optimists. Just no Logan Roys.

For 2020, we’re building a program that includes:

  • Creating a differentiated media startup with the right values and vision (Henrik Keith Hansen, IMS)
  • How we pivoted to memberships at Frontier (Sonny Swe, Frontier Myanmar)
  • What we learned about memberships from three years of running the Membership Puzzle Project (Ariel Zirulnick, Membership Puzzle Project)
  • Growing The Ken for a Southeast Asian audience — is subscription the right strategy? (Rohin Dharmakumar, The Ken)
  • Podcast trends in Asia (Renee Wang, Castbox)
  • How to build a business plan — and get it funded by angel investors, VCs and donors
  • Closing Mumbrella Asia — what I learned about building and folding a B2B business (Dean Carroll, ex-Mumbrella Asia)
  • What the protests taught HKFP about deployment, safety and ethics (Jennifer Creery, HKFP)
  • Bootstrapping your media business (Nikhil Pahwa, Medianama)
  • How Asianparent moved its editorial teams from writing for the web to writing for an app audience (Carla Perlas, Tickled Media)
  • Crowdfunding and campaigning: The forty worst days of my life (Jakub Gornicki, Outriders)
  • How to build a podcast business in Asia
  • Mental health and entrepreneurship
  • How to build a sustainable nonprofit media business in Asia
  • Evolving journalism education in Asia
  • Reaching provincial audiences in Asia
  • Showcases of new media startups, and the tools to run them
  • And a coffee workshop!

The program is coming along nicely and we’re almost ready to share it with you. Just check back in the next few days.

Christoph Grabitz

Director Media Programme Asia Konrad Adenauer Stiftung

“Now dry your tears, stop repeating that 20-year-old, self-fulfilling prophecy of media as a dying industry and come celebrate the future of journalism in Asia. Here is why we at KAS love Splice Beta: It glows in the dark.”
2020 Speakers
Meet some of the smartest people in the media ecosystem.
Su Phyu Hnin
Su Phyu Hnin
Membership Manager, Frontier Myanmar
Su Phyu — or Ju Ju, as she prefers to be called — joined Frontier Myanmar in May 2019 as membership manager to help set up their new membership program. Ju Ju previously worked as membership and office manager at the British Chamber of Commerce in Yangon where she also helped organize Chamber events.
Presenting the future of media: the Splice Beta 2020 Fellows 😍
Media startup founders, tech folks, investors, journalists, media development donors, product managers, and academics. All in one chilled city.

Come and meet folks from more than 120 organizations, including ABS-CBN, Adobe, Amazon AWS, AFP, Antenna Foundation Nepal, Azura Labs, Asumsi, Baltic Media Health Check, Branded, Burma News International, Castbox, Cambodian Center for Independent Media, Center for Investigative Reporting Sri Lanka, Climate Tracker, The Conversation, Chatva Plus, Click2View, Daraj, Deutsche Welle Acadamie, Dosslarb, e27, Echelon Media, Facebook, Frontier Myanmar, French Tech Media, Ghost, Global Investigative Journalism Network, Grok, Google, Hong Kong Free Press, Hukum Online, Internews, International Media Support, Jnomics, Judith Neilson Institute, Kantor Berita Radio, Katadata, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, Luminate, Lok Sujag, MeaVox, Magdalene, Malaysiakini, Medianama, Maldives Independent, Media Development Investment Fund, Membership Puzzle Project, Media Lab Pakistan, Myanmar Now, Nanyang Technological University, Netflix, New Naratif, New York Times, North Base Media, Nordot, Open Society Foundations, On Spec Podcast, Outriders, PodLovers Asia, PumaPodcast, Queensland University of Technology, Rabbit’s Tale, Readr, The Reporter, Remo Media, Rice Media, Rooted Analytics, Roar Media, rtCamp, Scroll, Singapore Press Holdings, South China Morning Post, SPH Ventures, Steady, Suara, Technode, Telum, The Ken, Thmey Thmey, Tickled Media, Token, Travelfish, UNDP Cambodia, United Daily News, University of Hong Kong, Ujyaalo, Wapatoa, Youth Ki Awaaz, 606 Media, and many others.

Access and diversity matter a great deal to us. We want Beta to be a stage where smart and generous people are seen and heard.

We want this to be a launchpad for new talent, especially those that wouldn’t normally make it to conferences, where they’re told they’re too young, too junior, or too inexperienced to speak.

We’re committing to getting 60% new speakers at Beta 2020 (compared with our 2019 festival). We’re aiming for a more gender-balanced speaker lineup. We had a 35:65 female-to-male ratio in 2019, and we want to do better.

No manels.

Update 23/1/2020:
53% female speakers
47% male speakers

48% female attendees
49% male attendees

83% of speakers are new to Beta
35 nationalities represented

Roby Alampay

Puma Podcast

“The atmosphere was perfect. Fun, open, and all discussions were relevant and completely relateable at our common level. It's not often that I can say that a conference has exceeded my expectations.”
Beta logo animation 2

This is the golden age of media.

Let us show you what it looks like.

Kathryn Louise Geels

European Journalism Centre

“You could say #splicebeta is the ‘Perugia of the east’, but it’s its own thing - more fringe and more like a big family. Everyone has each other’s back, and each person on stage is the audience’s hero.”
The Beta 2020 program: workshops, panels, a Startup Showcase, a Tools Showcase — and speed-dating.
Our partners
Thank you for
building the future of
media with us.
“It takes a community to re-imagine a transformed media landscape in Asia. This is the power of the media startups that Beta brings together.”

— Anjali Kapoor

Director of APAC News Partnerships



Want to sponsor Beta?

Let's talk!
Chiang Mai. Street food, artisanal coffee, fast wifi, and Thai hospitality. Still need convincing?

Thailand’s ancient mountainous northern city is known for its temples and elephants, but also for its cafes and creative culture. We thought it would be the perfect place to talk about building the future of media together.

Sessions will be held in various creative venues across Chiang Mai: A local university, and a shipping container park (well, you’ll just have to see it). 

You’ll get a chance to see the town; this isn’t the kind of event where you’re stuck in a windowless, cold room.

And it isn’t all work. We’ve got loads of fun stuff planned too — a coffee workshop, street food, a rooftop bar (or three), and a Chiang Mai edition of Splice on Tap. 

Getting there

Chiang Mai International Airport is well connected, with direct flights from Hong Kong, Shanghai, Sydney, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, and Bangkok.

Thailand has one of the most open visa policies anywhere in the region.

Aim to get there on the morning of Feb 18 Tuesday. Registration opens at 12 pm that day, and we’ll have masterclasses running that afternoon. In the evening, we’ll formally kick off the festivities with welcome drinks and dinner. Plan to fly out on the morning of Feb 21 Friday if you’re in a hurry to get back.

Or just linger till you’re ready to leave. Enjoy the Beta vibe.

Feb 18 and 20



Excuse the long acronym. International Sustainable Development Studies Institute is one of the most exciting event venues we’ve come across. ISDSI’s campus is an experiment in sustainable design and architecture, integrating 17 shipping containers into our main building, with 22 total on site. All surrounded by beautiful greenery.

Feb 19

Chiang Mai University’s Faculty of Mass Communication


What’s a media festival without bright, young minds. We’re working with CMU’s department of mass communication so we have passionate, young media professionals around us. 

There's a lot happening at Beta. This is what you need to know.

Where do I stay?

Beta takes place at two venues in Chiang Mai (see above). It’s our version of a district festival. Maybe.

Pick a hotel in the Nimman area. You’ll be close to cafes, bars (some of us will be staying out late, we’re sure of it), and restaurants. Plenty to choose from. Check out this Agoda link for more.

What do I wear?

We’re expecting temperatures to range between 33°C during the day, and 16°C at night. We want you to be comfortable, so come in t-shirts, shorts and comfortable shoes if that’s your thing. Just don’t come in suits and ties. We’re not that kind of people. If you have something in pink, even better.

How do I charge my gadgets?

It’s 220V AC. For plugs, it’s a mix. Two-pin round, two-pin flat, three-pin blocks. Either way, bring an adapter or two.

What about money?

Credit cards, Android Pay, Apple Pay and Grab Pay are often accepted, but not everywhere. And if you use Grab, you can probably make it through the trip without cash. But a bit of baht always helps, especially if you want to check out the street food and buy the volunteers (and organizers!) a round of drinks.

Where can I get a local SIM card?

There’s a shop in the arrival hall at the airport. When you exit the customs area, turn right.

I’m a speaker. What do I need to know about presentations?

If you’re presenting a slide deck, we recommend that you use Google Slides because it’s easier for everyone. Share the deck with beta@splicemedia.com and we’ll copy your slides over into a collective deck for the venue that you’re presenting at. 

If you want to use your own computer to project (eg. if you’d rather use Keynote or Powerpoint, or if you have videos on your local drive), that’s great too. Just let us know. We recommend a 16:9 aspect ratio.

If you need audio, definitely let us know early so we can hook up the sound system.

About our ticket price
Tickets available now!

We’re keeping the ticket price the same — US$300. This helps us pay for food, drinks, and running the entire event. It also helps to pay for our Fellows, students, or young journalists who can’t otherwise make their way to Beta.

We’re also looking for champions who want to pay-it-forward to help other people get to Beta. Just click on that button and donate.

If you need help, let us know. We will try and find someone to sponsor your trip. Email beta@splicemedia.com.

Premesh Chandran

Co-Founder, Malaysiakini

“One of our lessons from the past two decades is the importance of pulling together a community of media professionals. I believe Splice Beta is one of the best ways to do that in Asia.”