In U.S. creator economy boom, big tech battles for online talent


Katie Feeney, an 18-year-old social media personality, poses with her phone at a shopping center where she films many of her videos, in Gaithersburg, Maryland, U.S., May 25, 2021. REUTERS/Erin Scott

(Reuters) - Katie Feeney, an 18-year-old from Olney, Maryland, was in her calculus class on Zoom in November when she learned that a week of posting skits and unboxing videos on Snapchat earned her $229,000. Her $1.4 million in total earnings over the past seven months will be enough to pay for her college tuition at Penn State to study business.

Portland-based personal trainer Julian Shaw dug himself out of $18,000 in credit card debt during the pandemic by selling fitness education videos "with a bit of sex appeal," on OnlyFans, a content subscription site favored by sex workers paid directly by followers for posts.

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