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New Cable Brand Takes Page From Netflix, Uses Data to Suggest What You Watch

Contour Will Compete for Consumers That Want Netflix-Style Personalization

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Cox Communications is introducing a more personalized TV experience for cable subscribers under the new brand Contour, following the lead of Netflix and other digital services that use data to make recommendations.

Cox is marketing Contour -- including a data-driven TV guide, a bulked-up DVR and a revamped app -- separately from its current offerings as it vies for consumers who want a Netflix-like experience from their cable provider.

"There's a demand for a service from customers that knows what they like," said Mark Greatrex, senior VP and chief marketing and sales officer at Cox, the third-largest cable TV provider.

Using data to learn about consumers and serve them more of what they like has become a hot space in the increasingly competitive entertainment industry. Cox's campaign for Contour, which is scheduled to begin Monday, will use the tagline "TV Just for Me."

Contour will combine Cox's TV guide with a recommendation engine designed to infer what subscribers like to watch and to suggest content and networks accordingly. The system can accommodate up to eight individual profiles per household. It also breaks the day into time slots, distinguishing what the household watches on Saturday morning, for example, from what it watches Saturday night. If the household watches a lot of cartoons on Saturday mornings, the TV guide won't recommend adult content during that window.

Contour includes a more powerful DVR that can record six shows at once and store up to 1,000 hours of standard definition programming or 300 hours in HD. It new app syncs with the set-top box to let users watch live, on-demand and recorded programming on multiple devices, as well as to push content from a device to the TV.

The Contour campaign, handled for Cox by Doner and MediaVest, includes three TV spots. Periscope developed the creative for the company's retail stores and digital components while DraftFCB worked on the social media strategy.

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