uTorrent, with a user base of around 125 million, is one of the most popular clients used today for p2p file transfer and generates around $15 to $20 million annually for its parent company BitTorrent Inc. through a toolbar that can be optionally installed when uTorrent is first downloaded.
BitTorrent announced this change through a forum post and stated it as “a fresh approach to creating a no-nonsense and free torrenting experience.” This announcement is going to see a change in the client after 7 years of its inception and will enable advertisers to directly reach the massive user base without going through any ad networks. The change will definitely receive some resistance from a faction of users. The thing that might prove to be annoying is the manner in which ads will be served on the client. They will be appearing as sponsored torrents on the top of downloads list and they can’t be “turned off”.
“This new build will display a featured torrent at the top of your torrent list. This featured torrent space will be used to offer a variety of different types of content. We are working towards bringing you offers that are relevant to you.” BitTorrent said.
BitTorrent, in a bid to appease irritated users, explained “You are all very familiar with how we have paid the bills so far. These new changes mark our next step towards finding that difficult balance between keeping our lights on and providing a positive user experience.”
BitTorrent previously informed TorrentFreak that users in different locations will be seeing different content and this is probably going to happen through IP-address lookup. BitTorrent said that users’ privacy is going to be guaranteed.
In a bid to bring in some extra revenue, the San Francisco based company is going for sponsored torrents but, this move is surprising as the company is doing quite well with its near $20 million annual revenue and strong backing from venture capitalists.
The team is asking for feedback on their decision to go for this method of ad revenue generation. We would also like to know how you feel about this. Let us know in the comment section below.