The Splice Guide to some of Asia’s most interesting podcasts

Start here. And help us grow this.

By Alan Soon
Splice Singapore

This is just the beginning of a list. But this is a good start if you’re looking for Asia-based podcasts. There’s a lot of tech stuff in here, but you’ll also find lots of fascinating city-based podcasts.

We’ll keep this updated. At some point, we’ll get around to putting this into a sortable Airtable. But for now, this will have to do.

Tell us what’s missing here or if any the links don’t work. But tell us if this is useful. Drop us an email or tweet us.

REGIONAL

Asia’s Developing Future by ADB
Explains economics, reaches policymakers and government officials.

COUNTRIES

Sinica Podcast by Kaiser Kuo and Jeremy Goldkorn
A weekly discussion of current affairs in China.

Talking Indonesia
From the University of Melbourne. Covers current affairs in Indonesia.

Doh Athan by Frontier Media
Burmese language, created in partnership with Fondation Hirondelle. Aims to drive discussions of human rights. Read our profile on them.

SGN Discuss
Seeks out Singaporeans from all walks of life, experiences and circumstances who have an interesting story to share.

The Bangkok Podcast
Stories and rants about life in Bangkok.

Saigoneer Podcast
Features discussions of news and culture related to Saigon. Read our profile on them.

TECH

Analyse Asia with Bernard Leong
A powerful lineup of guests from Asia’s tech industry. Singapore-based.

China Tech Talk
Weekly podcast on China’s tech industry.

e27 Podcasts
Covers Asia’s tech and startup ecosystem. Singapore-based.

996 Podcast with GGV Capital
Discusses tech and entrepreneurship in China.

Exponent by Ben Thompson and James Allworth
An audio companion to Ben Thomson’s excellent Stratechery newsletter.

Asia Tech Podcast with Graham Brown and Michael Waitze
On Asia tech and entrepreneurship.

Is this useful? Maybe you like email better.

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SEE THE LIST

MARKETING

Click2View Content Hour
Singapore-based. Covers discussions around content and the marketing of it.

NOTABLES

QueerCast Singapore
Grew out of a conversation at Mox in Tanjong Pagar. Two friends were frustrated at a lack of discussion and silence around LGBT issues in Singapore. So they started this.

2footsteps Podcast by Vladyslav Koshelyev
Stories about discovering new places, countries and ideas.

Alan Soon

Co-Founder, CEO of The Splice Newsroom. Covering the business of media transformation in Asia. Follow Alan Soon on Twitter.

From this week

Platforms

Columbia Journalism Review takes a hard look at the journalism funding done by Facebook and Google.

There are millions of dollars going into this space. While many are happy to take the money on the table, others question the ethics behind it. “The British Empire wanted trains in Kenya and India to run well, too. So their concerns are sincere, but the effect is more often than not a deeper immersion in and dependence on these platforms.” Of course this isn’t an issue unique to the tech giants — grant-giving NGOs have also faced similar critics.
Columbia Journalism Review

Governments & policy

Tools

Trends

New Naratif put together a solid story on how the Muslim Cyber Army works in Indonesia.

If you haven’t heard of the MCA (no, not that MCA in Malaysia!), they have been spreading fake news and driving hate speech along religious and ethnic lines. Worrying trend, especially in a country that’s been fighting fake news factories like Saracen. What makes this one different? “MCA looks more ideological, has thousands of networks in different parts of Indonesia and therefore the destructive power of this group is greater than that of Saracen.”
New Naratif

Transformations

The New York Times is partnering with FX and Hulu on a weekly documentary series called…The Weekly.

It centres around stories from the Times and the journalists that work them. This comes hot on the heels of The Daily, their incredible podcast about one daily story from the Times newsroom. This is part of the Times’ ongoing foray into entertainment: A New York Times Magazine feature is going to be a Netflix documentary series, and Brad Pitt bought the movie rights to the story of how the Times broke the Harvey Weinstein story. Also coming: a four-part series for Showtime about the Times newsroom during the first year of the Trump administration.
New York Times

Media startups

Talent

Design

SilverKris, Singapore Airlines’ in-flight magazine, nailed it with their recent redesign by Ink.

I usually have the same attitude to in-flight magazines as I do to, say, a swift slap across the face: I’d really just rather not, thanks. But this reworked version was good enough for me to forget my Economy Class kneelessness, even though the cover is easily the most forgettable part of the whole redesign: a crowded image with no focal point. But here’s why I love this redesign: 1. The layout and typography have integrity in that they are led by the content. 2. The section fronts have bold, opinionated design. 3. The reading experience is immaculate — even though they crowd little surprise nuggets in the gutter. 4. The illustrations by Stuart Patience are delicious. 5. The writing isn’t all travel-fluff and doesn’t suck. 6. Those are some mad infographics skillz. Here's an interview with the Ink creative director.
The Design Air

The Malay Mail did a website redesign.

Load times were a priority, and the new site scores well on that front. The digital team also prioritised monetizing content and enhancing their “programmatic setup”. For me, this is translating into lots of badly-placed ads for pointless leather accessories in duplicate and Outbrain-forward sewage. They are testing a new section with Mandarin content for Malaysians working in Singapore, which says good things about their user research. Structurally, the website is fine, although better hierarchy on the home and story pages would be a good idea. (Also, those Open Sans headlines need some kerning; they’re w a y t o o l o o s e.) I’m impressed with how their head of digital responded to a question about the cost of the revamp: he said the company saw it as an investment rather than an expense. Respect.
Marketing Interactive

The article page is arguably the most vital page for a news website.

Getting it right across platforms is the Holy Grail. Last week, The New York Times took a giant step towards getting it right. This involved streamlining internal efficiencies on their CMS as well as a better user experience across mobile and desktop on web and native apps. Advertising also got a major overhaul: they killed their cluttered right rail of smaller banner ads for larger, full-width, midstream ads for a much cleaner read—and it’s working: “Ads on the new page are achieving twice the click-through rate of our old design, and initial studies show higher brand recall and four-times the reader attention to ads.” Read about the process here.
New York Times

“Hi, so did you hear that crazy phone call that, umm, the Google Duplex robot assistant made to the hair salon?”

She had the whole uptalk (ending verbal statements with that millennialesque question mark subconsciously designed to maximise responsiveness) thing going on? as well as an “mmm-hmmm?” and even an “er”? It wasn’t just how real it was that blew my mind; it was that the person on the other end of the phone was able to have a complete conversation without suspecting anything. I think the tech is amazing; I think the the whole construct is creepy. Would Turing give the bot full marks? Hear it for yourself.
The Guardian

Google’s Duplex bot will now identify itself as a robot on the phone.

There were some serious concerns that Google was putting the ‘dupe’ in Duplex: “Silicon Valley is ethically lost, rudderless and has not learned a thing”. The company has clarified: “It’s important to us that users and businesses have a good experience with this service, and transparency is a key part of that.” What is it going to say, though: “Hey there, I’m Rishad’s bot assistant, so don’t be freaked out.”?
Twitter

Notables