Home security: Contracts out, smartphones in

April 11, 2018
According to Parks Associates, remote monitoring with no long-term commitment are key factors to attract new home security customers. The ...

According to Parks Associates, remote monitoring with no long-term commitment are key factors to attract new home security customers. The study of 10,000 U.S. broadband households indicates that among the 73% of broadband households without a home security system, 19% are very likely to buy a home security system if it can be monitored and controlled via a smartphone, and 19% are very likely to buy a home security system if it does not require a long-term contract.

The firm says new entrants like Nest, technology enhancements like voice control from Amazon, and creative business models contribute to shifting consumer expectations and put pressure on the traditional security industry to innovate in both technology and business strategies.

"Smart home adjacencies have helped revitalize the traditional security industry, but also create new competition," said Dina Abdelrazik, Parks research analyst. "Consumers can create DIY solutions with category devices such as doorbell video cameras and networked cameras, and alternative approaches to systems and monitoring for the security industry, including a new batch of DIY systems, are emerging. For instance, Vivint is bringing monitoring beyond the home with its introduction of Streety, an application that allows neighbors to share video clips and live feeds from their home security cameras."

Other findings indicate:

  • Traditional security companies account for 72% of all professionally monitored subscribers, but this share is declining.
  • 41% of home security system owners live in the southern United States.
  • More than 50% of professionally monitored subscribers have interactive services.
  • 16% of U.S. broadband households are highly likely to acquire a security system within one year of the survey; half plan to acquire a system that they can install themselves.