musicnation.bmpMusic Nation is the latest Web site focused on independent music videos. The New York company, launched in April, has just raised $5.5 million in a first round of venture capital from venture capital firm Greylock Partners and Point Judith Capital.

To generate publicity, it is launching a music video competition Jan. 29 that will give three winners — in the rock, pop and urban categories — recording contracts with Epic Records.

Co-founder Kevin Ryan is a former chief executive of Doubleclick CEO

Music Nation is like MetaCafe, in that it works to get its best artists paid — only it focuses purely on music. It has developed a joint venture with Epic to develop unsigned acts beyond the competition, to help generate revenue and exposure for artists.

Music Nation allows bands to upload videos and create profiles. People can take the code from their submission and post the video around the Web (on fan sites, MySpace, YouTube). MySpace is still a much bigger site for artists to get visibility. There is also Bix, but that includes contests in a number of areas, including art, writing and photography. Oddly, Music Nation doesn’t allow you to rate the videos. [Update: The company says its “rating” feature is the voting mechanism, which will likely go up later today.]