You hear about people buying articles for five dollars to twenty-five dollars. You have probably seen those numbers before. It is very unusual to hear people talking about hundred dollar content, and most people don't believe that some websites have thousand dollar content. Would you believe that some publishers spend five digits, maybe six digits, to produce a single page of content?
It's out there.
Now, take a look at this page of content on The Washington Post. It starts off with a substantive video of about ten minutes. That video cost major bucks. Imagine the cost of getting authors and film staff down to New Orleans, getting them in touch with all of the people interviewed, paying for plane tickets, paying for motels, paying for meals - and they didn't stay there just a couple of days. The cost included rental cars, boats, drones, and things that I can think of. They supplemented the footage that they produced with footage that was licensed from others.
That video at the top is just one of four substantive videos that appear on this page -- along with graphics and photos and a nice big article.
I don't have any inside information on who paid for this content. The Washington Post probably didn't pay the full cost of producing this because some of the people involved probably gave their time, or boat rides or other types of help, just to showcase their own work or contribute to "getting out the word on an issue that they think is important". Regardless, someone decided that this story was so worth telling (and this is just one publication retelling this story today), that they put this kind of money into it. Was it done just to get the story out or was it done because it makes business sense? I can understand both of those and think that it might succeed at either.
All, I can say for sure is that The Washington Post got my money for a yearly subscription because they publish lots of content with at least a four digit price tag that I think is pretty good. If I continue my subscription for the rest of my life, I might pay for a couple articles.
I am not advocating that every page of content should get this much investment. That would be crazy. But, I would advocate that the five and ten dollar content buyers think about how well their content is going to rank in the SERPs and if it is even worth putting onto their websites. Maybe they should publish less but publish better. I think that most of the five dollar stuff has become more dead weight, if not holes through the bottom of the boat.