uTorrent to move away from bundled software monetization model

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 24, 2015

The uTorrent team announced a couple of days ago that it plans to move away from the bundled software monetization model that it is currently making use of to earn revenue.

The popular BitTorrent client uses three main monetization streams currently: bundled third-party software, in-client advertisement and uTorrent Pro.

Users of the software can disable the advertisement that is displayed in the client, and uTorrent Plus is a completely optional version of the application that adds features such as the streaming of torrents and conversions to the program.

The company was heavily criticized for bundled third-party software earlier this year when it came to light that it offered a Bitcoin Miner this way which ran in the background and used cpu cycles to mine Bitcoin. It removed the offer quickly afterwards though.


The team explains that they were never satisfied with the bundled software revenue model, and that they want to find a model that adds value to the product and its users.

The announcement reveals little information about the new approach to monetization, other than that there will be options for all budgets, and that the entire process will be transparent and open.

The team says it has a couple of ideas that it wants to explore in the coming weeks and months.

Donations would fit the requirements perfectly. Users could donate as much or as little as they want, and the desire to do so would likely increase if the team would remove the bundled software offers and maybe even the in-content ads from the client.

Other options may include a deals system in which download deals are offered to users for discounts. Bittorrent Inc, the parent company, has been offering bundles for some time, and an expansion of that might be an option that the team wants to explore.

There is also the possibility of an in-client store for plugins, themes and add-ons for the client.

Closing Words

Most users of the client will welcome the move, and it may even bring back some users who stopped using uTorrent because of its third-party software bundling.

A level of uncertainty remains though as the team has yet to announce or show the monetization ideas that it plans to integrate into the client. (via Torrentfreak)

Now You: Are you a uTorrent user? What's your take on the announcement?

uTorrent to move away from bundled software monetization model
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uTorrent to move away from bundled software monetization model
An announcement on the official uTorrent forum indicates that the team plans to move away from the bundled software monetization mode.

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  1. Simakuutio said on August 24, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    I have been using uTorrent 2.2.1 (last version which doesn’t give diarria) for very long time and no intentions to stop using it anytime soon.
    So what ever plans they have in the future, they don’t bother me at all…

  2. David Macdonald said on August 24, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    qBittorrent is a good alternative.

    1. fokka said on August 24, 2015 at 5:48 pm

      that’s what i ended up using when i had enough of utorrents crapware.

      1. Medlir said on September 9, 2015 at 11:31 pm

        Same, finally jumped to qBittorrent six months or so ago, and never looked back.

        uTorrent got particularly irritating when it “accidentally broke” the ability to actually turn off the Plus upsell stuff entirely even via the hidden settings, and it stayed that way for numerous builds even after announcing it was fixed several times if I recall. That and the number of settings you had to tweak in numerous menus and places just to turn off all the ads, and offers, and upsells, and third-party garbage was getting ridiculous.

        Granted, using an old build/version was always possible, but would much rather use a newer client that’s up to date with the latest actual features without the junk tacked on.

  3. Dave said on August 24, 2015 at 4:34 pm



  4. Jeff said on August 24, 2015 at 4:39 pm

    I switched to Deluge about a year ago and never looked back. It’s freeware, with zero ads, nags, and no bundled crapware.

    1. Dave said on August 24, 2015 at 5:18 pm

      I remember this being good on Linux way back. I guess they finally ported to the world’s major OS.

      1. Jeff said on August 24, 2015 at 5:36 pm

        Yes, it’s on Windows, OSX, Linux and Unix now. It’s a good BT client and works well for me in Win 7

    2. Pants said on August 25, 2015 at 5:30 pm

      Just saying … my uTorrent (basically the latest build) is freeware, has zero ads, doesn’t nag me, and came with no bundled crapware (see my post made lower down). Totally respect end users right to use any client they wish – but if that’s the only reasons, then they can easily be overcome.

    3. Nathan said on August 26, 2015 at 3:32 am

      +1 Jeff! Amen…..

  5. OneGuy said on August 24, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    Use Deluge people, it’s open source, great and cross-platform.

  6. Robert said on August 24, 2015 at 5:57 pm

    It amazes me just how many people still us uTorrent. I switched to Tixati years ago and have never looked back. uTorrent is one of the first to disregard the end user by monetizing their product with ads. Now Microsoft along with Firefox are basically doing the same thing.

  7. Ben said on August 24, 2015 at 6:41 pm

    2.2 till the end.
    Why upgrade.

  8. Keith S. said on August 24, 2015 at 8:19 pm

    +1 on qbittorrent. Switched to that when the bundling in utorrent started happening, like others in here have said, and I couldn’t have been happier. And iirc, I have this blog to thank for that!

  9. Chains The Bounty Hunter said on August 24, 2015 at 8:39 pm

    So basically, the plan is to turn it into a Vuze clone?

    I can’t find an adequate way to sum up my disappointment with the direction this program has taken.

  10. Paul(us) said on August 24, 2015 at 10:35 pm

    Especially by the last two releases the aggression by µTorrent has been fired up to new highs thru that you not giving a clear few anymore of what is happening when you are installing and I had to make a educated guess or I was not installing a extra peace of software that I did not wanted to install. Because of that I thought of returning to VUZE after using form many years µTorrent.

  11. Doc said on August 24, 2015 at 10:58 pm

    Switched to uTorrent Portable (portableapps.com) and haven’t seen any crapware. Still takes a lot of effort to clean up the UI, but it’s doable.

    1. Pants said on August 25, 2015 at 5:43 pm

      But .. but but .. :) …you only need to do it once. Preferences>Advanced: Toggle all these settings to ‘false’.

      There’s slightly more to it than just that. Under \App\uTorrent\apps you’ll find btapp files which are just renamed zip files with html/css in them. The ones names plus.btapp and featuredContent.btapp seem to update on start (regardless of the settings below). No big deal – a whopping 30k of zipped html I never get to see.

      You could set these prefs to false – I did.

      Not trying to push anything on anyone. Totally use what you want. Posting only for sharing the knowledge.

      1. Medlir said on September 9, 2015 at 11:34 pm

        Don’t forget the extra hidden settings menu to also turn off:



  12. b003 said on August 25, 2015 at 3:06 am

    Tixati.. never looked back.

  13. Dwight Stegall said on August 25, 2015 at 3:20 am

    I doubt anyone with any sense will trust them again.

  14. sam said on August 25, 2015 at 5:51 am

    Tixati 64

  15. jimbobillyjoe said on August 25, 2015 at 6:57 am

    Too little and too late. uTorrent lost their way a long time ago. Why people still put up with it (or still use very old versions) instead of moving on, I can’t comprehend. Switched to qBittorrent ages ago and never looked back. Deluge is decent too and if I had to I’d switch to that before going back to uTorrent.

    Tixati isn’t bad either – very light on resources – and I’d suggest it over uTorrent but it’s closed source which gets a downvote from me. I don’t have anything against proprietary and the Tixati group have been a decent enough bunch of folks so far but I prefer the ability to look under the hood when it comes to my torrent software.

    And these are just a few of the most popular alternatives. Branch out further and you have dozens of choices that will perform as well or better than uTorrent. This isn’t like the Windows fiasco where you’re locked in to an ecosystem… you have choice, ditch the crapware and be happier for it.

  16. Mountainking said on August 25, 2015 at 8:19 am

    Deluge, qbittorent etc…NO turning back for me unless those alternatives turn to the dark side…
    Too bad utorrent. A more than 7 years ex-utorrent user

  17. Dukislav said on August 25, 2015 at 9:16 am

    Too late, uTorrent…

  18. Pants said on August 25, 2015 at 5:26 pm

    I use uTorrent. Never had any issues with adverts (all totally removable). Never had any issues with 3rd party bundled crapware (I use a portable version – the one from portableapps.com). Also, it’s not hard to use to bypass all that sh*t or use an extractor. I have tried other portable torrent clients (qTorrent came closest), but find that only uTorrent allows me to use a custom download folder name and four custom directories (for torrent files and downloads, both in progress and finished). I would never dream of using any of those super old versions people talk about. Let’s face it, it’s not exactly bloated (what is this? 1995? Is your x86 running out of steam?). I’d rather have an up to date client, not one that is half a decade old. I update about twice a year – I still have no idea what they’re actually updating every monthly release – never see any new features, never see any improvement. It does like to “dial home” and download an update – might put a stop to that :).

    TL;DR: Just my take on it: uTorrent suits my “needs” best, I’ve rather have an up-to-date maintained client, and all the moaning about crapware and adverts is easily fixable – but each to their own. Truck on!

  19. webfork said on August 25, 2015 at 7:14 pm

    > Donations would fit the requirements perfectly

    That would work great but my experience working with freeware developer is that donations are generally few and far between, even with programs that have very high download numbers. It’s one of the reason so many free programs go the adware/bundleware route.

    Plus, I’d rather see donation dollars of any sort go to an open source program where — if the developer/company quits work — the program can continue. Then your money goes to additions that help the torrent community as a whole.

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