BitTorrent says upcoming uTorrent update will feature ads

By on August 13, 2012, 10:08 AM

Popular torrent client uTorrent has gone through significant changes since it was acquired by BitTorrent in 2006. Launched in September 2005 as a minimalist, resource-friendly and free application for downloading torrents, is has evolved over the years to do far more than downloading, including streaming and playing music and videos within the client itself. As usual, some welcomed the new features and others resisted them, but the latest change is likely to get more of the latter: uTorrent is going ad-supported.

Advertisements will soon be integrated into the client in the form of “featured torrents” that sit in a highly visible spot just below the toolbar within the uTorrent UI.

These featured torrents will create an extra revenue stream by promoting “relevant” content from advertisers such as films, games, music, software and more -- the company says this will in no way affect your privacy. They’ll also be used to inform users of new products, features and services, as well as to promote independent artists.

You'll be able to skip offers of no interest to you by clicking an x within the ad, which will advance you to the next one. There is no way to turn in-client offers off but that may change in the future. “We may not get it right on the first try but we will continue to improve our efforts based on your feedback,” BitTorrent said.

Currently nearly all of the company’s annual revenue, estimated at somewhere between $15 and $20 million, comes from an optional toolbar that users can install when uTorrent is first downloaded. They are also backed by millions in venture capital and sell a Windows-only, premium version of their client known as uTorrent Plus for $25, which will continue to provide an ad-free experience.

With over 125 million active users per month, uTorrent stands to make quite a bit of cash for BitTorrent.




User Comments: 30

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Shaun2312 said:

Looks like I may have to switch :/

Guest said:

Or torrent the ad free plus version ;)

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Looks like I may have to switch :/

Boo hoo, you will have to press an X every month or so to help a great company keep the support for an amazing software, poor you!!

ramonsterns said:

Looks like I may have to switch :/

Boo hoo, you will have to press an X every month or so to help a great company keep the support for an amazing software, poor you!!

Currently nearly all of the company?s annual revenue, estimated at somewhere between $15 and $20 million, comes from an optional toolbar that users can install when uTorrent is first downloaded.

Yeah, nah.

KoJoT1234 said:

Deal with it. :)

Staff
Julio Franco Julio Franco, TechSpot Editor, said:

I personally don't like it based on principle, I mean uTorrent was supposed to be the 100k client that could. Then again it will all depend on how bad the ads are. If BT refrains from making them intrusive and somehow manage to have cool advertisers (feature movies, quality software, etc.) then there will be no reason to look for an alternative torrent client.

hitech0101 said:

Will keep using it have been used to google ads and spam on various torrent sites so still worth using it.

Guest said:

Just don't update next time your prompted to =D

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

So if they're going to provide "relevant" content, then they're going to be scanning what you're actually downloading.

And since advertisers are supposed to pay on the basis of how often their ads get shown, isn't it possible that to some degree that's going to basically show them how often that stuff gets downloaded?

And then who is to say that they're not going to start tracking IP addresses to which the ads are shown?

Its one thing to be shown an ad based on what your search query is, its another to be shown an ad while downloading copyrighted content.

I know this is a worst case scenario, but I'd rather not mess around with this stuff, and get slapped with a lawsuit a few years down the line.

mario mario, Ex-TS Developer, said:

From what I understand and has been explained to me having an ad-ready version of µTorrent doesn't mean you'll always be shown ads it will depend on where you are located in the world and the kind of promotions currently available, if any, for that region.

One of the reasons of going down the ads path is lowering revenue dependency on the toolbar.

Neojt said:

Or torrent the ad free plus version

LMAO this is so true

Guest said:

Utorrent is bloated as shit now anyway it got worse with every update after 1.8.5 im sticking to other open source clients.

Guest said:

Do we have a good alternative? Something that isn't above 20 MB-s before installed, and knows magnets?

1 person liked this | Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Utorrent is bloated as shit now anyway it got worse with every update after 1.8.5 im sticking to other open source clients.

I feel your pain brother, my 1 mb utorrent is bloated as shit and uses a whole 30 mb out of 8 gb of system ram ... bloated as shit... damn you uTorrent... DAMN YOU!!!!

Staff
Per Hansson Per Hansson, TS Server Guru, said:

Do we have a good alternative? Something that isn't above 20 MB-s before installed, and knows magnets?

The current client is a 876KB download

Guest said:

µTorrent is my favorite client and that's fine as long as there is no horde of zombie pop-ups jumping in my face. I think they deserve to make some money with their great services during past years.

VitalyT VitalyT said:

As the saying goes, Free comes with a #ick up one's ass.

h4expo said:

Deal with it.

... or no. To me it looks like a deliberate attempt to kill a good programs user base. Ill be finding another client here very soon.

d4rk5ky d4rk5ky said:

People complain to much, do you have so little ram in your pc that you can't run utorrent even if it takes up say 50-100mb of ram? lol.

gobbybobby said:

Looks like I may have to switch :/

Boo hoo, you will have to press an X every month or so to help a great company keep the support for an amazing software, poor you!!

Currently nearly all of the company?s annual revenue, estimated at somewhere between $15 and $20 million, comes from an optional toolbar that users can install when uTorrent is first downloaded.

Yeah, nah.

Yep I will switch too if I have to see adds. Or just pirate the software I use to pirate with. Stupid that they even have a + version!

Guest said:

I'm not updating then !

ramonsterns said:

People complain to much, do you have so little ram in your pc that you can't run utorrent even if it takes up say 50-100mb of ram? lol.

Yeah, bit by bit, fills up the glass. Those who don't complain don't have the foresight to see what's coming.

fimbles fimbles said:

I only use versions 1.8.3 and 3..0.

I am pretty sure the older versions will still work. Though im quite happy to click an ad for a great free program.

Staff
Steve Steve said:

TechSpot has ads.

Dustyn Dustyn said:

They do?

I guess I forgot that I use software to block them.

kamisama said:

Do we have a good alternative? Something that isn't above 20 MB-s before installed, and knows magnets?

The current client is a 876KB download

Oh it's quite a bit bigger, 876kb is after some heavy UPX compression.

ross01 said:

well that just great now the best torrent service is gonna make to much money and get shut down by USA

Guest said:

I'm appalled. To me this is totally selling out and represents a complete lack of integrity. I resent the idea of being subjected to advertising while I pirate sh1t. Shocking!

treetops treetops said:

psshh the last bittorent update embedded bing deep into my search address box on my browser even though nothing was check marked. They can suck it.

DAOWAce DAOWAce said:

I stopped updating uTorrent when they introduced browser-like crap in the software, aka 3.0. Sad to see it's continued to get worse.

I hope this will spark another lightweight torrent client to be developed. Using an outdated torrent client doesn't rest easy with me, but I refuse to upgrade if it means unnecessary bloat.

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