Many large publishers use a bipad number - for additional information: http://www.bipad.com/
Smaller, local and regional magazine publishers use a UPC.
According to George Laurer, inventor of the UPC Barcode:
“The long and the short of this is that the BIPAD provides no advantage to the publishing industry over the standard U.P.C. because it is only unique to the title and provides no additional information. There is no reason to have a BIPAD number and a number issued by either GS1 or a reseller. The bottom line is that the Publisher must make the business decision as to how their magazine will be distributed. Note that not all Wholesalers require a BIPAD number. The numbers now being assigned by GS1 or those from a reseller, cannot accommodate the 5 digit BIPAD number.”
Before you incur unnecessary charges for a 6-digit company prefix from the GS1 and a 5-digit bipad number, ask your distributors if a simple UPC barcode will work for your magazine. If so, purchasing from Nationwide Barcode will save you a lot of time and money.
GS1 Originated UPCs/EANs - Volume Pricing