Real-Time Options Data Too Expensive? Try Filtered Options

Chelsea Caltuna
September 24, 2020

Update: we now offer delayed option data!

Reliable, real-time options data is critical for anyone looking to participate in the market for options contracts, but the combined licensing, infrastructure, and delivery costs can make live options data a challenge for enterprises and downright inaccessible for smaller companies.

Fortunately, you don’t need the full OPRA feed to gain the benefits of option pricing data. Intrinio's filtered real-time options data feed eliminates the need to build a costly in-house infrastructure. In this blog, we’ll explain why options data is so expensive and how filtered options delivers more value. First up…

Who needs equity options data?

There are two primary use cases for real-time options data:

  • Internal investing: hedge funds, quant funds, and investment teams within large banks or financial institutions need data on options contracts to manage their internal investments
  • External platform: fintech companies run options data through their customer-facing applications to help individual investors make educated investment decisions

Typically, users who fall into either of these categories don’t actually need the full, unfiltered OPRA feed; there just hasn’t been a good alternative (until now).

Why is real-time options data so expensive?

Connecting to the full OPRA feed can cost upwards of $500k a year. There’s no sugarcoating it – that’s a lot of money.

That cost is a combination of three factors:

  • Licensing. You'll need an exchange license to access OPRA data.
  • Delivery. You’ll have to pay for delivery through API or your access method of choice.
  • Infrastructure. Your business needs the infrastructure to process an ever-growing amount of data.

If you’ve ever managed a real-time options data feed, you know that infrastructure is the killer. OPRA disseminates all US options data in a feed that contains trades, quotes, and administrative messages. The amount of data in this feed is constantly expanding – skyrocketing your bandwidth and processing power requirements. This presents pretty significant technical challenges to users.

What is a filtered real-time options data feed?

OPRA's unfiltered options feed is highly complex. Thousands of contracts and expiration dates are processed every second during market hours.

Since our clients had a difficult time connecting to reliable and clean options data, we built a powerful infrastructure to deliver it via an easy-to-use platform. With our filtered options feed, users receive data sourced from OPRA with low latency delivery via Web API or WebSocket.

Why get filtered real-time options data from Intrinio?

Intrinio now offers a filtered real-time options feed for business users. This feed is available via our Web API and real-time WebSocket. We also offer direct database access, which is exceptionally useful for businesses that need to manage, organize, and sort through massive amounts of options pricing data.

Our feed includes the following data from OPRA:


  • Implied volatility
  • Greeks: delta, gamma, theta, vega
  • Blocks
  • Sweeps
  • Underlying ticker
  • Expiration date
  • Strike price
  • Type: put or call
  • Contract ID
  • Last trade price, size, and timestamp
  • Last bid/ask price, size, and timestamp
  • Trade volume
  • Open interest
  • Exercise style: American or European


  • Contract ID  
  • Last trade price, size, and timestamp  
  • Type: put or call

We offer the best data tools on the market for developers, engineers, and analysts. Whatever your preferred access method, we provide step-by-step documentation, syntax builders, and more to streamline onboarding and integration. Plus, our flexible licensing allows you to display options data to end users at reasonable rates.

Our filtered options feed is backed by our responsive, US-based support team. If you experience an issue, we have a built-in ticketing system and live chat five days a week.

Ready to build a filtered options solution that’s tailored to your business? Visit

Sorry, we no longer support Internet Explorer as a web browser.

Please download one of these alternatives and return for the full Intrinio Experience.

Google Chrome web browser icon
Mozilla Firefox web browser icon
Safari web browser icon
Microsoft Edge web browser icon
Microsoft Edge