Philadelphia Launches Local, Community-Driven Video Site

Philly in Focus, launched Tuesday in beta form, is set to showcase locally created video content

Think of it as a local, more professional Youtube.

On Tuesday, Comcast (the parent company of, in partnership with the City of Philadelphia and others, officially announced the new Philly in Focus initiative, a video platform designed to make it easier to upload, share and manage videos. In other words, it’s a local and professionally produced hub of Youtube-like videos for the Philadelphia region.

“It’s an on-demand and online one-stop portal,” Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter says, “made by Philadelphians, for Philadelphians and about Philadelphians. It’s what the Continental Congress would have used had it been around…It will allow content specifically created for Philadelphia to allow Philadelphians and the rest of the world to see.”

Philly in Focus is part of Comcast’s Project Open Voice, a Comcast initiative dedicated to the discovery of local content, including public, educational and governmental media. Philadelphia is one of six markets to be a part of the program, along with Fresno, CA; Houston, TX; Hialeah, FL; Peterborough, NH; and Medford, MA.

“It’s an opportunity to make content that is more personal and more about Philly,” says Ted Passon, a filmmaker with Center City Film and Video and the creator of many Philadelphia-centric online programs.

Individuals and organizations may apply to become participants on the website by applying at, though the content must be professionally-driven and meet the “Content Partner Guidelines” listed on the site, says Molly Weingart, the site’s content coordinator.

“It’s almost like a local Youtube,” says Jeff Friedman, the City of Philadelphia’s Manager of Civic Innovation and Participation. “It’s cool to have all of these videos around the web on sites like Youtube, Vimeo and more, but now we can really focus geographically on stories that matter to people here and are created here.”

To learn more about Philly in Focus, watch the launch video below:

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