Big Issue Goes Digital
6 June 2013 at 11:21 am
The Big Issue, the magazine sold on the streets by homeless and disadvantaged people, has an online version from today – making the social enterprise publication one of the first street papers in the world to offer a digital edition.
Customers are now able to buy online access to the magazine from The Big Issue vendors in the form of a digital access card that will be sold alongside print copies.
The Big Issue CEO Steven Persson said the digital edition would not replace the print magazine, but simply give people a choice in how they read it.
“We recognise that an increasing number of people now prefer to read magazines online,” Persson said.
“By offering a digital version, we hope to meet the needs of customers and reach out to new audiences to help increase sales for vendors.”
The Australian version of The Big Issue is among the first street papers in the world to offer a digital edition, with the UK’s The Big Issue in the North launching an online edition last October.
The digital edition has the same content as the fortnightly print edition and works on computers, tablets and smartphones. Customers buy a printed card, which is the size of a business card, from vendors and enter their unique access code into a dedicated website.
Each digital card costs $6 – the same as the print copy – with vendors continuing to earn $3 from every sale.
The Big Issue was launched in Australia in 1996 to create job opportunities for people experiencing issues such as homelessness, long-term unemployment and disability.
“Eight million copies of the magazine have since been sold, putting more than $16 million into the pockets of vendors,” Persson said.
A sample version is available at http://digital.thebigissue.org.au.