BitTorrent does an about face on advertising plans.
Last week uTorrent made headlines when it announced plans to introduce sponsored content into users' torrent lists. Specifically, the company said users would soon start seeing a featured torrent at the top of their torrents list. uTorrent said this spot would be used to offer a variety of different types of content and that the site is working towards "bringing [users] offers that are relevant to [them]." However, it seems many weren't happy with the idea of sponsored content polluting their feeds, and now BitTorrent Inc, the parent company of uTorrent, is rushing to appease its users.
At the time of the announcement, TorrentFreak reported on some of the details, writing that users would not be able to switch these 'ads' off. However, the site today quotes BitTorrent CEO Eric Klinker as saying an opt-out method has always been on the cards. Klinker said that considering the backlash from users, they'll be offering an opt-out option from the beginning.
"We've long contemplated an opt-out mechanism for the new offers and advertisements we will be experimenting with. Given all that's been said here, we've decided to release the initial version with an opt-out mechanism. Users should have the choice to opt-out, and we will provide them with ways to do so," said BitTorrent CEO Eric Klinker.
Additionally, Klinker explained that the money raised from this type of advertising would be put towards the development of future technologies.
"Opt-in offer experiences also help us bring new levels of investment; not just to the uTorrent client, but also to future iterations of peer-to-peer technology," he said. "In other words: experiments like this can help prove to the world that there is a legitimate third way in digital distribution."
The sponsored torrents will be used for promoting content from advertisers as well as for important updates and to promote artists. It's not yet clear when uTorrent plans to introduce this new sponsored content.