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Music Labels Smell Money in Second Life

The music industry is the latest to realize the marketing potential of establishing a presence in Second Life.

As membership in the online virtual world Second Life continues to skyrocket, music labels have finally decided that it's time to join the fun and get their slice of the economic pie, Reuters reports. Sony BMG has cast the longest musical shadow in the virtual world so far, purchasing an island in Second Life called Sony Music Media Island, where residents can listen to music and watch music videos. The island has hosted an album preview by Ben Folds, who appeared in avatar form to answer fan questions.

As with MySpace, Second Life has become a boon for unsigned bands looking for extra exposure. But whereas with MySpace bands can only let users hear their music, in Second Life they can also interact directly with users.

Many unsigned artists are gaining followings in the virtual world from their performances in virtual bars, nightclubs, and other events. This sense of "direct" interaction with many fans at once is another reason music labels are attracted to Second Life.

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