15-minute delayed options is a real-time feed of calls, puts, and trades from an options exchange like OPRA that has been delayed 15 minutes from the time the data was created. When you receive 15-minute delayed options, you are looking at data that was created a minimum of 15 minutes ago.
If you are a retail trader you have probably never heard of 15 minute delayed options. This is because most brokerages and web apps that specialize in options trading and research provide that data to individuals for little to no cost. Those businesses only pay $1.25 per month to the options exchange to display that data to each new user.
If you are a business looking to provide options trading, analytics, or research to your own customers, however, you need to know about 15 min delayed options. That's because the relatively low price your business pays to display options data per user, $1.25, is dwarfed by the cost your business pays to access that data in real-time.
Many firms that have real-time options data for their users don’t have access to a delayed feed or don’t know it's an option. This leads to them onboarding users but not giving them access to options data until the user starts paying for the service or making trades so the business can recoup the cost of providing the data in real-time. With 15-minute delayed data, a company can provide 15-minute delayed options data to all users, then add real-time data for some users when it makes sense.
The exchange fee just to access real-time options data for use in your terminal or web application is $1,500/mo. That's before you count the cost of running servers, paying a technology company to connect to the exchange, and hiring developers to integrate the data. Getting real-time options can easily cost your firm $5,000.
15-minute delayed options avoid some of these costs. Displaying delayed options doesn’t require a per-user fee and the exchange fee is just a flat $650/mo paid to the options exchange. During development, or if the data is only being used internally and not displayed, there are no fees whatsoever to access 15-min delayed options prices.
These cost savings are important if your business is just starting out and can’t afford hefty exchange fees or if you are in a situation where paying for each user doesn’t make sense. Imagine you are running a financial news website. You have millions of users and you want to display options data to each and every one of them. With real-time data, you would pay $15/user per year times millions of users. Ouch. With 15-min delayed options, you would pay $0/user per year.
One important technical detail about delayed options data is the cost of storing it. The options market generates many magnitudes more data than the stock market- storing that data for 15 minutes can be really expensive and complicated. Intrinio knows that the main reason firms use delayed data is to save money, so we allow our users to query delayed data directly from our servers rather than storing it on their own.
Intrinio provides a 15-minute delayed options feed in its silver options plan and includes both real-time and 15-minute delayed options in its gold plan. This allows businesses that are interested in adding options for their users to start with delayed data and upgrade to real-time data at any time without redoing their integration. This approach saves businesses, at a minimum, $1,700/mo while they are building out their application.
It also gives businesses the flexibility to display real-time data where it is worth the per-user fee and 15-minute delayed options everywhere else. The options exchanges don’t charge extra fees for access to 15-minute delayed data if your business is already paying for real-time so it is an affordable way to get started and grow your platform while minimizing costs.
If you are interested in adding 15-minute delayed options to your platform or using it as a starting point while you build out your options functionality, get in touch with us. We recommend all businesses take a free trial of our delayed options feed because you can do most of the integration while avoiding fees and test for free.