So, it looks like that USA Today is having second thoughts on making their iPhone app free. Read the article here
The article even mentions that USA Today might go to charging for the app along with a digital subscription cost. As a regular user of the USA Today iPhone app, I can say that for them to go this route is a horrible idea.
For starters, most major news can be had for free, and from a variety of locations too. If USA Today began charging for their iPhone app, I would immediately remove it from my iPhone and begin looking for a replacement news application. Secondly, USA Today has one ofthe finest news applications on the iPhone so it would be a great loss to the free app community in the App Store. And finally, USA Today got the whole thing right. Their app allows one to easily share via email, Facebook, or even Twitter. They fully integrated into the social media space with their iPhone app. At the moment, no one else has figured this out quite like USA Today has.
I think that this is a nice exampe of the printed newspaper medium trying to hold on to the current revenue model rather than finding another way to monetize. I can get most of the same news available in USA Today for free online so I really can’t justify paying them for digital delivery.