From its earliest days, Ring set out to revolutionize residential security by expanding consumer notions of “a ring of protection” that could intercept and discourage intrusion before it happens. Traditional security for years had focused largely on door, window, and interior motion sensors, but Ring took the fight to the front porch and yard. Video doorbells provided the opening move, followed by a wide portfolio of more doorbells, outdoor cameras, flood light cameras, landscape lighting, and eventually a more traditional Ring Alarm security system with optional pro-monitoring.
Now, Ring has introduced a new Virtual Security Guard Service that provides 24/7 video monitoring of all those outdoor camera devices to relieve owners of the responsibility of vetting motion-triggered alerts and contacting first responders. The new service is a $99/month add-on sale, requiring ownership of a Ring Alarm system and subscription to its $20 a month Ring Protect Plus pro-monitoring service. For those who are counting, that’s $119 per month for two different monitoring services – one for alarm events and one for pre-alarm motion-triggered events.
While the high price point may simply be testing the premium end of the residential market, Ring has been clear that it has eyes on the small-to-medium business segment where the cost comparison is between paying for a “live” security guard or a virtual one, perhaps every night of the week.
According to Interpret’s Smart Home Matrix™ quarterly survey of smart home owners, smart doorbells have become the second most popular device among pro- and self- monitored security system owners, behind only smart speakers. Video doorbells are owned by 48% of owners of pro-monitored smart security systems while 36% own a networked camera. An increasing share of these are outdoor cameras.
“Ring has proven to be persistently perceptive about new use cases and services that target new user segments, first among consumers and more recently in commercial verticals,” said Brad Russell, Vice President at Interpret. “While the opening price point for outdoor video monitoring seems unlikely to garner traction with more than a niche audience, the concept of making video monitoring more affordable for small businesses, especially if available without a long-term contract and even on an ad hoc basis, may draw more interest.”