uTorrent has long been ad-supported software — how else would BitTorrent, Inc. pay its bills — but until now that has been in the form of a sponsored toolbar offered during the installation process. The latest version of the free BitTorrent client is going to get advertisements that are a bit more abrasive, however: an upcoming version of the application will include a banner ad just below the main navigation toolbar. The news was revealed in an official forum post, which states that the advertisement space will be used to highlight "featured torrents" for films, games, music, software, and more.
Of course, all of the material advertised will be legal torrents that have been authorized (and paid for) by content creators. The space will also be used to highlight new offerings from BitTorrent, like updated features, new software, and other news.
An anonymous source "close to the company" informed TorrentFreak that BitTorrent, Inc. had $15 to $20 million in revenue last year — some part of which is undoubtedly accounted for by its $24.95 uTorrent Plus software. Owners of the premium version of the client will not be subjected to the new ads. The new revenue stream will likely win the company few fans, and it admits that "we may not get it right on the first try but we will continue to improve our efforts based on your feedback."