Posted September 29, 2018 05:03:03Canadian record labels have been working overtime to keep the business of music alive.

And it’s working: A recent report from the Federation of Canadian Record Collectors said Canada’s three major record labels — the Sony, Universal and RCA — generated $3.5 billion in revenue last year.

That figure includes record sales, merchandising, licensing and distribution.

The report also found that, in Canada, record sales are up by 13.6 per cent from 2015.

It’s a huge increase for a country that had only four major record companies in 2011.

“The record industry in Canada is in very good shape,” said Mark Rochon, chief executive officer of the Federation.

“And we’re getting closer and closer to being a viable business.”

But while Canada’s record industry is thriving, there are plenty of challenges for the music business, said Robyn McBride, president and CEO of Canadian independent label, Tectonic Records.

She said the digital revolution is pushing the music industry to be more creative and collaborative.

“With the advent of the Internet, you don’t have to pay artists a royalty, you can put together a playlist of songs and then share it, for example, online and download it and upload it,” McBride said.

“So that’s going to be a challenge for the record labels, but the fact is, that’s the reality.”

For now, Rochoff is optimistic that Canadian music will be a thriving industry for years to come.

“There are lots of interesting ideas coming out of Canada,” he said.

“I think that’s something that the country’s going through right now, and I think that we’re going to see that continue.

I think there’s a lot of good ideas and great talent here.”

With files from CTV’s Victoria Steeve