Big Issue in the North vendors start selling digital edition

Big Issue in the North has launched what it claims is the world’s first digital street magazine, which will be sold by its street vendors using a special QR card.

Selling the Big Issue in the North using a QR card
Selling the Big Issue in the North using a QR card

999 Design worked with the International Network of Street Papers to develop the project, which will see customers buying a card from the vendor, which can then be used to download a digital edition of Big Issue in the North.

The vendor earns 50 per cent of the £2 cover price for each digital sale, which is the same as they get for selling a copy of the physical magazine.

Mark Beever, director of innovation at 999 Design, says, ‘The bottom line was to keep the vendor involved – the whole purpose of the Big Issue is to support the vendor.

‘The challenge was to bring something digital into the physical space.’

The digital edition on an iPad
The digital edition on an iPad

Once downloaded, the digital version of the Big Issue in the North opens via an app and can be read across all devices.

Beever says, ‘We wanted something that retains the look and feel of the print title, but that is also heavily image-based and readable.’

An example of the Big Issue in the North digital edition can be seen at using the access code RC8XPFAG/2352.

The digital edition on an iPhone
The digital edition on an iPhone

The digital edition is being trialled in Manchester for at least three months, and the model could roll out across INSP’s network of street magazines, including the Big Issue in London, as well as other magazines across six continents and in 24 languages.

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  • Nicola Fleming November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    I think this is a great idea, a more convenient, contemporary and economically friendly big issue!

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