Study: Home Security Companies Not Alarmed by New Entrants

AUSTIN, Texas — During the next three years, the penetration rate for residential intrusion alarm products in the United States will increase by 5% to 8%, according to a new study by IMS Research, now part of IHS.

In the study titled, “The World Market for Intruder Alarms,” the research firm noted that usually a sudden flood of players and increased competition could be harmful for an industry. However, the intrusion alarm market is embracing new competitors, such as telecos and cable providers, as they are collaborating with established security suppliers to offer complete home security product offerings and increasing market awareness.

“The penetration rate of intrusion systems in the U.S. has hovered around the 20% mark for some time,” says Adi Pavlovic, security and fire analyst for IHS. “The emergence of new market entrants is expected to increase end-user awareness of home management systems, which combine traditional home security products with innovative home automation technology.”

Although home automation features drive the sales of integrated home management systems, the core functionality consists of a basic intrusion system, according to the study.

Companies like AT&T and Time Warner recently have launched their own home security offerings and join a growing list of companies entering the market, including Comcast, Cox Communications, Verizon and Lowe’s. Leveraging their existing client base, these companies are offering home management systems, along with other features such as cable, Internet and telephone services, in order to increase their average revenue per user (ARPU). The report mentions that while some companies have launched their own monitoring stations, most new entrants have partnered with existing professional monitoring companies.

Still other companies are taking a different approach to the market, like Lowe’s and Verizon, which are offering services designed to be self-monitored. The two firms recently teamed up to sell Lowe’s Iris product line alongside Verizon’s home security solutions in Verizon stores across the U.S. Both systems charge a monthly service fee but for a much lower rate than the cost of professional monitoring. Additionally, neither system requires a contract.

The report notes that while do-it-yourself and self-monitored systems account for a small fraction of the overall market, the potential for these products remains high given the widespread use of smartphones and other mobile devices. The study also found that new entrants are also collaborating with manufacturers to produce specific products, such as Technicolor and SMC.

The research firm stated it might be too soon to determine how the new services will affect traditional alarm dealers. However, the market is expected to become more competitive with future mergers and acquisitions.

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