In a groundbreaking move, independent U.K. label Ninja Tune is to launch a music video channel in the Second Life virtual realm.

Supported by U.K. digital music research firm Music Ally, the new Ninja TV station will feature several hours of full-length videos from the label's artists, including Roots Manuva, Coldcut and Mr Scruff.

Second Life's estimated 1.5 million population will be able to view the TV content free of charge.

"This is great opportunity for us to showcase our videos in a new and exciting environment, with a new creative outlet for our artists and a new way for fans to access them," comments Laura Seach, head of digital at Ninja Tune.

The Ninja Tune station will be part of a new TV network called Virtual Life.TV, created by Rivers Run Red, a U.K.-based virtual world design agency.

Labels and artists are increasingly embracing Second Life's marketing opportunities. Duran Duran recently became the first major band to insert their characters, or avatars, into the cyberspace game system.

And on Nov. 19, avatars of Transgressive Records artists -- including Young Knives, the Subways and Larrikin Love -- were the focus of a "virtual broadcast" in the Blarney Stone, a pub based in the community's replica of Dublin.