Arlo Secure surpasses 3 million subscribers, new features hinted

Arlo Secure app 3 million milestone
Image: supplied.

Increasingly more smart home and security devices rely on providing premium features behind paid subscription models. Sure, a product will still be functional out of the box without a subscription, but more tools – like expanded cloud storage – cost more money. It raises the interesting question: how many people fork out for extra features? Quite a few, according to new data about Arlo Secure plans.

Arlo, an American security tech company, recently revealed that more than three million people pay for an Arlo Secure plan. Although that’s a global figure, it’s reasonable to assume Australia is well-represented in those millions.

Last year, prices of Arlo Secure Plans started from the monthly equivalent of $3.99 for an annual single-camera subscription. Now, the price has increased to $7.99 per month for a single camera, while the multi-camera plans remain the same cost. To smooth the transition, Arlo offered existing customers one year of the cheaper pricing on an annual plan before paying the increased price.

Devices like the Arlo Essential range and the Pro 5 2K support various smart features on their own. However, the full suite of features requires an ongoing investment. Software as a service (SaaS) is a lucrative business model across many industries, reducing the sole reliance on hardware for revenue, in addition to paying for costly cloud servers.

What does an Arlo Secure plan actually include?

Most of the features included with Arlo Secure are consistent across different tiers. You need to pay more for multiple devices or for 4K video recordings. Otherwise, most of what you get with the most expensive $17.99 tier carries over to the cheapest plan.

For starters, you have more control over smart device notifications. This includes more advanced AI-based object detection and activity zones. In other words, you can further customise specifically what type of motion detection you want to receive notifications for.

As an example, you likely wouldn’t want a phone notification every time a bird flies past the front porch. With better subject recognition, you’d only receive notifications for events you want to know about, like a person approaching the door or a package arriving.

Arlo Secure also enables smarter interactive notifications, so you can view animated previews from your camera from a phone’s lock screen. And of course, there’s 30-day cloud storage of your camera’s video recordings, allowing you access even if the device gets damaged.

Interestingly, the three-million subscriber milestone “came earlier than expectations” according to Arlo CEO Matthew McRae. The company’s top executive also pointed to the service’s “low churn rates”, indicating that when people subscribe, they stay subscribed. McRae also hinted at “numerous exciting new features and AI capabilities” coming later this year.

The main takeaway from Arlo’s announcement is that subscription models aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. As long as companies provide ample value in exchange for an ongoing commitment, people seem willing to pay a bit extra.

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This story has been updated since its original publication to reflect the new Arlo Secure pricing in Australia.