uTorrent offers ad-free option for $5 a year

Pirates won't buy movies, but BitTorrent thinks they'll pay to go ad-free.

uTorrent recently opted to monetize with ads, but it turns out that pirates hate those as much as paying for content. Now, parent BitTorrent is trying something else -- offering a subscription to eliminate ads for $5 per year. That may not seem like much, but uTorrent has over 150 million users, so even if a small chunk of them opted to pay, it could generate millions in cash. (To be fair, torrents can be used for legal purposes, like streaming US election coverage.)

There are now three tiers: a free app with ads, the new $5 ad-free version and uTorrent Pro, which also gives you virus protection, support and instant streaming for $20 per year. It's normally possible to disable ads in the free version, though we're not sure if uTorrent has closed that loophole with the new paid version. Last year, uTorrent tried to milk its huge user base by forcing them to mine bitcoins, but it quickly discontinued the practice and apologized to users.