TMA Apologizes to Amazon / RingBy: John Honovich, Published on Aug 23, 2019
Not only is Amazon / Ring making major incursions into the residential security market, the organization representing the biggest incumbents, The Monitoring Association (formerly CSAA), has issued a formal public apology to the incumbent's rival.
The unprecedented statement from TMA declared:
we regret that our earlier statement was premature and wish to retract it. It has become apparent that Ring has not only been partnering with Police departments in a transparent manner but has also been providing hardware specifically to low-income neighborhoods in an effort to reduce crime in neighborhoods. [emphasis added]
So not only has TMA realized it was wrong to criticize Amazon / Ring, it now realizes that Amazon / Ring is really just being charitable.
TMA refused to comment and a source close to the TMA says Ring did not threaten TMA. It may very well be just that but this is then the first time I have seen an organization issue a formal 'important statement' that includes declaring 'regret' and retracting their comments when a threat of legal action was not made.
No Sympathy For The TMA
There will be no sympathy for the TMA. The TMA is an organization whose members have, for decades, benefited from public resources spent on subsidizing response to the mass false alarms of security systems. And incumbent's ugly doorknocker business model has certainly provided an opportunity and need for disruptors to provide other ways to achieve home security monitoring.
Concerns Over Ring's Rising Dominance
Nonetheless, the increasing dominance of Amazon / Ring brings its own concerns. As we reported earlier this year in Amazon Ring Public Subsidy Program Aims To Dominate Residential Security, this is a fairly brilliant move that leverages their unrivaled resources and long-term planning.
However, there are legitimate concerns that even the TMA, at least first, had the coverage to call out. That government entities are effectively endorsing a particular private product is a concern as it can significantly impact other private providers. More importantly, Amazon / Ring is using this to increase the network effects of concentrating their devices in local areas. The more devices they can get it to a given neighborhood, with the subsidies of local governments, the greater competitive advantage they have against their private rivals.
And TMA's apology and 'realization' that Amazon / Ring is 'specifically' providing to low-income neighborhoods is laughable. In our analysis from our report earlier this year, Amazon/ Ring's target markets for these public subsidies included ritzy Boca Raton, FL, West Hollywood, CA and La Cañada Flintridge, CA, where the median income is a 'low' $156,000 per year.