For the first time ever uTorrent users can now pay for their favorite BitTorrent client. BitTorrent Inc. just put a pre-order for the “Plus” version of uTorrent online for $24.95 a year. The official release is scheduled to come out before the holidays. The paid version of uTorrent will offer additional features to the free client, that will continue development as usual.
With well over 100 million active users a month, uTorrent is without doubt the most-used BitTorrent client.
Thus far all versions of uTorrent have been free of charge, but earlier this year uTorrent’s parent company announced the forthcoming release of ‘Plus’, a paid version of the client with additional features.
Plus will enable users to convert videos and transfer files to external devices. It also comes with built in anti-virus, remote file-transfers and a built in media player. Today BitTorrent Inc. announced that Plus will be released before the holidays and the client has been put on pre-sale for $24.95 a year.
“uTorrent Plus was specially designed to give our users access to often-requested features. If they are seeking a very easy way to convert files to popular formats to watch on other devices, plus a safer torrenting experience with integrated antivirus (and more), it’s a no-brainer,” BitTorrent spokesperson Allison Wagda told TorrentFreak.
“The free uTorrent client still offers all the essential functionality and continues to receive significant attention from the development team. uTorrent Plus is exactly what its name implies: everything you love about uTorrent *plus* great new features,” she added.
For the San Francisco company uTorrent Plus is a attempt to add an additional revenue stream aside from the money it makes from toolbar installs. How much is guesswork, but considering the target audience they will probably “suffer” a bit from piracy, although we doubt that they will complain much about that.
uTorrent Plus sale
uTorrent is not the first mainstream file-sharing application to be launched with a paid version. Before it was shut down LimeWire sold a pro version, and uTorrent’s main competitor Vuze also sells a pro version of their client for $24.99 which enables users to burn DVDs.
Generally these pro-clients are not targeted towards savvy BitTorrent users, but to relative newcomers who are willing to pay a little bit to make their lives easier. That said, paid BitTorrent clients are certainly not the norm, so it will be interesting to see how uTorrent Plus will be received by the public.
Are you a uTorrent user? Let us know what you think about Plus in the comments.