The Big Issue launches TBI TV SVOD channel as organisation continues to diversify revenues and drive greater impact


The Big Issue (TBI) has launched SVOD channel The Big Issue TV in partnership with Alchimie as its latest innovation in a year of seismic digital change for the social change organisation.

The organisation is capitalising on the fast-growing SVOD market which is seeing a huge uptick in consumers wanting to subscribe directly to premium content that appeals to their interests and resonates with their outlook

TBI TV, will showcase documentary films that are challenging, provocative and vital viewing.

From the environment and politics to social activism, finance, culture, health and technology, the range of subject matter mirrors The Big Issue magazine’s focus on the key stories that shape the world.

All the films have been hand-picked by TBI’s editorial team from Alchimie’s library, one of Europe’s largest libraries of premium programming and are ready to view when and where viewers want, with hours of new content added each month. For a cost of just £3.99 per month, subscribers will have access to a raft of brilliant, thought-provoking documentaries.

“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 –  creating a truly bespoke SVOD channel for TBI TV with unlimited opportunity for creativity and expression. Finally, Alchimie’s technology and distribution network work together to deliver a new revenue stream for the organization, without compromising its brand values.” Said Barry Llewellyn, Managing Director, Alchimie UK

One of the opening offerings on TBI TV will include The Climate Change Cover-Up, which reveals the scandalous suppression of information about the impact of fossil fuels on the planet, right up to the Trump White House era, while A Revolution in Four Seasons charts two women on opposing sides of a battle for the democratic future of Tunisia – the country that sparked the Arab Spring. Fight Hate With Love follows a former prisoner’s battle to prevent children from following in his footsteps.

TBI TV is the latest exciting development in a year of innovation for The Big Issue. In the last 12 months, TBI had to rebuild and recreate the business model almost overnight when the Covid-19 outbreak forced vendors off the street during the first lockdown.

Russell Blackman, MD for The Big Issue, says: “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. The greater the awareness we can generate, the greater the impact we can have on people and the planet.

“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 one million pounds to help them with accommodation, food, bills, connectivity and so much more, as well as maintaining contact with vendors during the difficult months when they were unable to sell the magazine and interact with their customers and local communities.

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. TBI also released a podcast, The Big Miss You, which explored stories of connection between vendors and customers during the lockdown. And the organisation’s digital edition, The Big Issue app and website have been launched, overhauled or re-energised. February 2021 was the website’s busiest month on record.

In addition, TBI has been able to create new products such as a vendor app, to improve digital inclusion for vendors who are frequently amongst the most digitally excluded in Britain.

To subscribe for the introductory rate of £3.99 per month, visit

With Big Issue vendors still unable to sell, you can support The Big Issue’s 100 Days of Action Appeal by buying a subscription from your vendor or by subscribing online at