Thursday, September 8, 2011

uTorrent To Launch a Paid Version

 

The uTorrent team is working on a paid version of the leading BitTorrent client that will enable users to convert videos and transfer files to external devices. Branded uTorrent Plus, the extended uTorrent client will be be released to the public this coming fall. uTorrent’s parent company BitTorrent Inc. hopes the Plus version will bring in some extra revenue, but considering the target audience it is expected to ‘suffer’ from piracy as well.

BitTorrent has seen a lot of success with its free-to-use and tiny client going by the name of uTorrent. It’s many people’s software of choice for handling torrent downloads, and with the recent release of version 3.0 the development team added remote access, video streaming, chat, and a ratings system to name but a few of the new features.
The next big rollout for uTorrent is not another bunch of new features, though. Instead, a premium version of the client is planned. BitTorrent has decided alongside the free client there’s room for a paid-for version which will be called uTorrent Plus.


With close to 100 million active users a month, uTorrent is without doubt the most-used BitTorrent client. Over the past several months the development team has been very active, and this coming fall another major release will see the light.“We think of it more as diversifying revenue sources. Some of the features will involve us paying licensing fees so it’s not like this is a pure profit business for us, although given our scale we’ll be able to negotiate good terms and pass on to customers a great value” 


One of the downsides to paid software, especially that targeted at BitTorrent users, is that it will probably be available to download for free on torrent sites. The uTorrent team is aware of this issue but doesn’t plan to include any extreme anti-piracy measures.

The incentive for paying, according to BitTorrent, is a “single solution to find, get and play content anywhere.” The idea behind uTorrent Plus is to allow you to manage, convert, and copy your content for playback on any device you want after downloading. So video downloaded in one format can be converted and transferred to a specific device all within the uTorrent Plus client. For example, you could convert and upload video to an iPod touch, an Android tablet, or a Sony PSP without need for another software tool.
BitTorrent is keen to point out that the premium client will not mean features being removed or held back from the free version of uTorrent. Development will continue on both versions with uTorrent Plus just offering more after the file downloading is done in return for you cash.
As to how much it will cost, that has yet to be announced. The plan is to open up access to the premium client in a limited beta before a rollout in the fall. If you’re interested in getting on that beta you can sign-up for an invite now.