Big Issue in the North magazine goes digital

image captionVendors will offer the public a coupon which can trigger a download of the magazine

The Big Issue magazine, now a traditional feature of the High Street in many of the UK's major cities, is going digital.

It will not mean the end of the vendors - homeless people who rely on the income they make from sales.

Instead they will sell a token offering online access to the magazine alongside the hard copies.

The idea is the brainchild of the Big Issue in the North and will be piloted in Manchester from Monday 29 October.

If the pilot is a success, it will be rolled out across north-west England and Yorkshire.

More choice

Users opting for the digital version will be sold a £2 card with a unique code which, when typed into a web browser or scanned with a mobile phone, will download the digital edition of the magazine.

In the week before it goes on sale, the public will be able to sample the digital version for free via a barcode found on flyers and posters.

Caroline Price, director of the Big Issue in the North, said: "This is not about replacing our traditional print magazine. It is about moving with the times and giving people a choice in how they read the magazine."

"The Big Issue in the North's primary aim is to provide homeless people with the opportunity to earn an income. In order to continue to do this, we need to ensure we appeal to a broad range of readers, including people who choose to read newspapers and magazines online," she added.

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