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Big Issue magazine launches on-demand channel

Alan Jones, PA Industrial Correspondent
·2-min read

The Big Issue is branching out into the video world as its latest innovation in a year of huge digital change for the organisation.

A video on-demand channel – TBI TV –  is being launched, in partnership with video platform Alchimie, showing documentary films on issues such as social activism, finance, culture, health and technology.

The Big Issue said the range of subjects would mirror the magazine’s focus on stories it believed shaped the world.

Barry Llewellyn, managing director of Alchimie UK, said: “We’re delighted to partner with this fantastic media brand to bring TBI TV to life.

“Our partnership not only provides TBI TV with a vast pipeline of premium documentaries to choose from and direct management of the channel, but Alchimie Studio provides the editorial team with the ability to create original and exclusive content, animations and highlights.”

Russell Blackman, The Big Issue’s managing director, said: “Covid changed everything for The Big Issue and our vendors.

“The launch of TBI TV is yet another way in which we are adapting and innovating in an ever-changing landscape to grow our reach, influence and impact in order to support some of the most vulnerable people in our society.

“As part of our commitment to digital growth, TBI TV will build a new audience, raise awareness of issues that matter, and inspire viewers to take action.

“It will also help drive alternative sources of income to The Big Issue that will allow us to continue to provide the essential services and support to vendors, which they desperately need.”

The Big Issue has supported more than 2,000 vendors during the Covid-19 crisis, making payments of almost £1 million to help them with accommodation, food and bills.

More than 500 vendors across the UK have signed up to TBI’s new online subscription page, meaning customers can buy the magazine directly from them even while they are off the street.