Bernhard Fritsch is an award-winning entrepreneur and media technology pioneer, whose innovative approach to digital technology has fundamentally changed the way the world distributes and consumes music, film, television, and other forms of digital media. With a focus on creating impactful technologies in the music and social media space, Fritsch’s work has earned him praise for improving content distribution models and creating innovative technologies that have helped push the limits of media consumption and human connection.
Fritsch is perhaps best known for his ongoing paradigm shifting technology inventions, specifically the U.S. patents for the invention and development of the first digital rights management and downloadable content system. In 1996, he founded MCY MusicCity and in 1998 MCY.com, Inc., a company that was the first online retailer for ordering and downloading film, games, and music. In a time when the music industry was transitioning from analog to digital, Fritsch invented technology that gave music artists the ability to track the rights to their music and sell content through digital means. This technology ultimately beat out all other competition, many of which were based on free Internet distribution models and were considered copyright infringers. This powerful patent is now licensed to all major media distributors, including Apple, Netflix, Microsoft, Amazon, and many more. Using the foundational technology he created at Music City, Fritsch coordinated and produced “Life at The Cavern Club,” a 1999 concert film featuring Paul McCartney. This music event became one of the largest live-streaming events in history and won the Yahoo! Online Music Award for its 40-million person viewership.
After taking mcy.com, Inc. public, he created a platform that helped music artists launch their music and then later in the 2010s to connect with fans through social media. His real-time multi-channel media event distribution and messaging system allowed him to work with some of the world’s most talented musicians and producers, including Whitney Houston, Carlos Santana, The Backstreet Boys, N’Sync, Quincy Jones, Clive Davis, Ludacris, Jessica Simpson, Enrique Iglesias, The Who, and Stevie Wonder.
Along with being fundamental in the music industry’s shift from analog to digital distribution, Bernhard Fritsch is also deeply rooted in a multidisciplinary educational background. From early on as a prolific musician and instrumentalist, Fritsch sought to combine his love of music with his affinity for math and computer science. After receiving a Master’s degree in Digital Media Technologies at the Berlin Institute of Technology and the prestigious Tonmeister Masters degree in Digital Media Production at the Berlin University of the Arts. Fritsch served as the featured professor of Music Technology at New York University. Along with his colleagues, he initiated the development of the Music Technology Department at NYU Steinhardt which has since developed into a major research and practice center in music technology, ranking among the top ten schools for advanced recording and audio design.
Most recently, Fritsch has combined his long history in education, digital technology, and social media to advance the capabilities of artificial intelligence, machine learning and blockchain technologies. He is the founder of i3 Operations, Inc., a venture which uses unique AI and machine learning to organize social media and create actionable data. i3 Operations utilizes innovative software and AI to organize public social media and provide ethical manageable data designed to improve society and advance public safety and health. i3 Operations is already poised to be an innovator in social and technological advancement, having placed as a 2019 finalist for the prestigious Edison Award in Social Innovation through Artificial Intelligence.
Fritsch currently resides in Malibu, CA and enjoys spending time with his three sons, David, Max and Harry.