Alarm.com's Surging VSaaS Growth

By John Honovich, Published Oct 21, 2011, 08:00pm EDT

While most of the hype and attention about VSaaS has gone to Axis's questionable AVHS offering, a fundamentally different VSaaS approach is reporting surging growth. In this note, we examine Alarm.com and their hosted video offering, contrasting it to AVHS and analyzing its competitive positioning.

Surging Growth

When we first looked at Alarm.com in 2009, their video service was less than a year old. Alarm.com's core market is alarm monitoring and, at that time, Alarm.com had approximately 200,000 subscribers. Now, Alarm.com is reporting over 750,000 total subscribers with about 50,000 of them subscribing for the hosted video service. On the video side, Alarm.com notes that subscribers have surged from 5,000 to 50,000 in the past year with 1 or 2 cameras, on average, deployed per subscriber.

Offering Examined

Alarm.com positions video as an add on component integrated with their overall security/home automation offering:

  • Includes unlimited remote/mobile live video viewing
  • Limited storage (typically in the hundreds of MBs) designed for viewing clips
  • Triggers for video recording when a door is unlocked, armed, when an alarm is triggered, etc.
  • Inexpensive pricing - typically less than $10 per camera per month and sometimes bundled in to a package flat rate price for security, automation and video combinded
  • Sold and serviced by the same Alarm.com partner providing alarm monitoring to the residence

The two main value propositions we see is (1) making it easy to look in to what's happening at one's home or small business and (2) increasing the value of one's intrusion/access system by reviewing video of what happened.

Offering Analyzed

We see this as an easy sell with compeling value proposition:

  • As an inexpensive option, cost is not a barrier (as it is with a $80 per month / 4 channel AVHS offering).
  • As an add on to an existing service or a bundled package, it is relatively easy to sell (unlike AVHS which often is a new service to a new customer).
  • It is not trying to replace an existing mature solution (as AVHS is with DVRs).

A solution like Alarm.com is not and cannot replace DVRs or VMS software. However, with its pricing and complimentary position to intrusion monitoring systems, it does not need to do so.

We believe this approach has a high likelihood of success and should be treated seperately from the up hill battle AVHS providers have in replacing full surveillance systems.

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