BitTorrent announces 150 million monthly usersBy Rick Burgess
BitTorrent announced a 50 percent increase in the number of individuals using its mainline client and uTorrent. This ongoing surge led to a new milestone for the company as well, hitting 150 million active users per month. That figure is actually a quintupling of active users since 2008.
"This marks an amazing milestone for our company and we want to thank our loyal users and partners for their support. Our protocol and software clients have become some of the most pervasive pieces of technology in Internet history," says BitTorrent Inc. CEO Eric Klinker.
"We look forward to another exciting year of growth and we continue expanding our product lines to meet the needs of consumers creating and consuming high-quality personal media files on a broad range of consumer electronics devices," he adds.
Despite great success for both the company and its similarly named file sharing protocol, BitTorrent has had its share of troubles too. The P2P file sharing protocol has become synonymous with piracy, which seems to be the fate of any P2P network when left unfettered. History shows that such services have always become havens for distributing unlicensed intellectual property as was the case with Limewire, Kazaa, Overnet, eMule, IRC, Napster and many others.
The company has also faced increased competition from sites like Rapidshare, Mediafire, Megaupoad and other so-called cyberlockers. Such sites are well-known hot spots for unauthorized digital material, too.
Additionally, the company became embroiled in a patent lawsuit in 2011 but not for copyright infringement like one might expect. Rather, BitTorrent was accused of infringing on a patent encompassing file sharing technology. To the relief of BitTorrent though, the lawsuit was voluntarily dropped.
To round out the company's positive news this year, a number of BitTorrent-enabled devices are also making their debut at CES. Bittorent has partnered with manufacturers to provide "BitTorrent Certified" products, a label intended to cash-in on a set of standards aimed to make the P2P experience streamlined and simplified for less sophisticated consumers. Products carrying the label so far have included set-top boxes, routers and network-enabled storage devices.