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Irony: Popular illegal download service wants you to pay for its software

Published Aug 24th, 2015 4:40PM EDT
BitTorrent uTorrent Download App Subscription

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Apps that allow users to download torrent files are usually used for grabbing copyrighted content that’s illegally hosted online. Most such apps are available as free downloads, but one popular torrent app is exploring options to make its users pay for the app.

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According to Torrent Freak, uTorrent is toying with the idea of charging its users. The free app has some 150 million monthly users and BitTorrent Inc., the company behind it, says it will test various alternatives during the weeks and months ahead while assuring users that it will offer options to several different budgets.

The move is meant to help the company improve uTorrent services while moving away from advertising and bundled software, which can also be annoying to users.

“Specifically, we want to find a way to improve uTorrent for our customers while financially supporting the amazing team that works every day to make uTorrent great,” the company said. “As you know, uTorrent is a free piece of software. To support it, we use bundled software and offers to offset the cost that would otherwise be paid directly by the user.”

“We’ve never been satisfied with this revenue model. It requires compromises that detract from a premium user experience. We want to find a model that adds value to our product and our users. We want to find a better way.”

Pricing details for this paid service isn’t available at this time, but the company already operates a subscription service – BitTorrent Sync – which costs $29.99 per year.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.