What is Philly In Focus?

Philly In Focus is a multimedia platform dedicated to connecting the Philadelphia community through the video and interactive media of its groups, institutions and programs. Philly In Focus is part of Project Open Voice (POV), a local pilot program from Comcast that brings local organizations together across web, mobile, social media and traditional video-on-demand outlets. For more information, please visit phillyinfocus.com.

When did the site launch?

Public beta testing began in January 2012 and the site officially launched in July 2012.

Which markets were selected as pilot markets for Project Open Voice and why?

The five pilot communities—selected based on a combination of size, location, diversity and Public, Educational and Governmental (PEG) programming offerings—are:

Why was Project Open Voice created?

Project Open Voice was born out of a voluntary commitment that Comcast made to the FCC as part of its transaction with NBC Universal. The project came from an existing desire to bolster delivery of PEG and other local programming and do so in a user-friendly, online environment.

How long will Philly In Focus be supported?

Comcast has committed to at least three years.  During that time, the company will work closely with its partners in Philadelphia to determine the best plan for the community after the pilot.

What where the steps involved in launching Philly In Focus?  Who was consulted?

Project Open Voice launched using a five-step approach:

  1. Comcast worked closely with community, political and PEG leaders in each community to see how best to make local programming available on VOD and Online platforms.  Comcast met with each Mayor and community organizations and the websites received a positive response.
  2. Based on that input and feedback from the communities, Comcast established local marketing and content management operations to support the project.
  3. The next step involved crafting specially crafted public service announcements for each community, developed with the help of local residents and political leaders.
  4. Comcast launched the OnDemand channels, which occurred in October 2011 and is available through the Get Local > Philly In Focus path
  5. Finally, Comcast launched individually branded, community focused, video-centric and socially connected local websites for each community.


What can Philly In Focus do for me?

As a robust media platform, Philly in Focus seeks to provide publishing tools and external marketing support for your videos, events, or photos. With Philly In Focus you can:

  • Expand your organization’s reach through your own custom channels/li>
  • Assign content responsibilities to others on your team or within your organization
  • Build social influence using Philly in Focus social sharing tools
  • Track results using our robust data and analytics dashboard
  • Connect on multiple screens and platforms, including online, VOD and mobile
  • Benefit from search optimization to support discovery
  • Connect with other providers and their fans

Who can have a channel on the Philly In Focus website?

Any group, association or program that showcases the real people, organizations, communities and events that make Philadelphia a great place to live, work and play are welcome.  Whether you are a public, educational or government programmer, local organization, non-profit, artist or an independent producer, we’d love to hear from you.

How many videos do I need to start a channel?

We require a minimum of 5 videos or PicTours to launch a channel on Philly In Focus.

My organization has a multiple partners.  Can we post content under the same account?

Yes.  Organizations that work with multiple partners or have several member organizations, producers or departments either under, or associated with, their brand can manage all of those groups under one umbrella account in the Philly In Focus website.  For more information, please go to the Contact Us form at http://phillyinfocus.com/contact-us.

My organization doesn’t have video. Can I still be a part of Philly In Focus?

Absolutely, in addition to video, Channel Partners can also create Photo Tours using an application called PicTour. All you need is five pieces of content (Photo Tours or video) to start a channel.

Does Philly in Focus pay for content?

Philly In Focus does not pay for content.

Can an Organization sell and display Sponsor Ads on our video content as a way of subsidizing the creating of the media?

Video content may include general underwriting messages but no advertisements may appear on the page outside of the video. See the Content Partner Guidelines and Community Policy for more details.

Can an Organization use our channel to advertise products that they sell?

We do not currently accept advertising content on our site. Please see Content Partner Guidelines and Community Policy for more details.

Will Project Open Voice/Philly In Focus replace PEG outlets in Philadelphia?

No.  Comcast is fully committed to supporting existing PEG outlets in Philadelphia as required by law. Project Open Voice is meant to be a complementary platform to existing outlets for PEG and other local programmers

If I have technical questions, who can I contact?

Please submit all questions related to the website via Contact Us form at http://phillyinfocus.com/contact-us/


What is the process for submitting content?

After an organization is approved as a Content Partner through their application they must agree to the terms of the website and then will be able to access their own content management dashboard. From the dashboard, Content Partners may manage account data, upload video, maintain metadata, submit events, review analytics, and manage comments on their content.

What kind of content do you accept?

Any videos, photos, projects or events by Philadelphians, about Philadelphia or related to what makes Philadelphia a great place to live, work and play are welcome.  Content and media can be of any length and can include:

  • Videos that inform, educate or entertain
  • Local organization, personality or business profiles
  • Short vignettes or full length programs of local interest
  • Public, educational or government (PEG) content
  • Local art, shows or music performances 
  • Event photos and information
  • Photos of your favorite locations/scenes in the city (for interactive tours)
  • Online games or other interactive visual media

What formats are accepted?

For native uploads we recommend using .mpg, .mov, .avi, .wmv, or .vob file types. Videos that have been previously uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo may also be easily imported.  Please see the Content Partner User Guide for more detail.

I already have content that would be perfect Philly In Focus.  How can I submit it?

To include your content, which you can do through your own channel in Philly In Focus, you must first become an approved Content Partner.  Any organization may submit an online application at http://phillyinfocus.com/become-a-publisher/.  

Can I start a channel on Philly In Focus if my content appears elsewhere?

Yes! Philly In Focus is a complementary interactive media platform that you can use to connect with local Philadelphia audiences. As an approved content partner, you can use the tools built into Philly In Focus to pull video content in directly from your YouTube or Vimeo channels, share content with your social media followers or embed content directly to your site.

Who approves content?

Philly In Focus Content Partner submissions are regurlary reviewed by a local third-party communications agency for adherence to the Content Partner Guidelines and Community Guidelines, which may be read at the Philly In Focus website..  Comments from visitors are moderated through automated filters, community flags and can also be managed directly by each Content Partner.

Is there an expectation from COMCAST on how often our channel should be updated with new content? Will the channel be revoked if not updated in a defined length of time?

While there is no time requirement for updating once approved and the initial video load is complete, a channel must include a minimum of five (5) videos in order to remain visible on the site.  See the Content Partner Guidelines.

Does COMCAST provide resources in terms of personnel or access to video cameras, editing facilities, etc. to help organizations create content?

Please send a note to Philly In Focus through the Contact Us form to meet producers that are involved with Philly In Focus.


When did the video-on-demand (VOD) platform launch?

The VOD folder launched in October 2011. This is a location where Comcast customers can find the most popular videos each month in the Philly In Focus folder of the Get Local section.

If I have a video on the website, will it automatically be included on the VOD channel?

Each month, the most actively engaged video content within each website category will be eligible for placement on VOD for at least 30 days. Currently, that content will need to be placed and refreshed OnDemand through a manual process while we explore ways to connect the online and OnDemand platforms more dynamically.