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. No Logan Roys.

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

  • The basics of building a media business
  • How to create a media organization around memberships
  • How to build a business plan — and get it funded by angel investors, VCs and donors
  • Crafting a social media strategy
  • Attracting and retaining talent
  • Mental health and entrepreneurship
  • Bootstrapping your media startup
  • Building a business around podcasting
  • Building gender-balanced newsrooms
  • 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.


Media startup founders, tech folks, investors, journalists, media development donors, product managers, and academics. All in one chilled city.

Come and meet Castbox, Facebook, Frontier Myanmar, Google, Internews, International Media Support, Kantor Berita Radio, Luminate, MeaVox, Malaysiakini, Medianama, MDIF, Membership Puzzle Project, New Naratif, New York Times, North Base Media, Open Society Foundations, Outriders, PodLovers Asia, PumaPodcast, Readr, Remo Media, Roar Media, Singapore Press Holdings, SPH Ventures, Telum, The Ken, United Daily News, University of Hong Kong, 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 8/12/2019:
44% female speakers
56% male speakers
76% of speakers are new to Beta

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.”
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.

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

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.

So 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.”