I just paid $5.99 for the McSweeney’s iPhone app and I love it. For an iPhone application, it’s not cheap, and it doesn’t do much other than letting you read some content on your phone (some of that content is even freely accessible on the web). But for the small amount of money, I get to read the content on a nicely designed interface (by Russell Quinn), no annoying ads or useless buttons, and, more importantly, I get a 6-month subscription of Small Chair, which delivers a special piece of content to my phone each week (example: next week I will receive the debut short-film, Maurice at the World’s Fair, by Spike Jonze).
Is that worth $6? I think so, and I’m be more than happy to pay the $5 subscription fee every half year. I also wish other publishing houses would follow suit, and instead of keeping with their free applications, come up with a paid version with no ads, and some “premium” content delivered to paid users. For example, I’d paid to have a NY Times app where I can read articles on a full screen (without 1/5 of my screen blocked by a Polo ad) and have some of their videos delivered to my phone (a much better interface to watch their videos, which are buried on their website). Wouldn’t you?
P.S. Highly recommended (free) article (also accessible via the McSweeney’s iPhone app): Notes from an Amateur Spectator at Amateur Mixed Martial Arts Fight.