America online (AOL) has announced it is teaming up with EMusic.com in order to distribute digital music over AOL's Web sites.

EMusic will provide AOL's ICQ chat system and the Spinner and Winamp music sites with songs that can be downloaded for 99 cents each (or $8.99 for an album). Boasting 20,000 songs by independent or new musicians the immediate effect of the deal was to increase EMusic's stock value by 20 per cent.

AOL also announced that its worldwide membership cranked up a notch this summer, totaling 18 million members. Membership reached 13 million for the same period in 1998.

Other AOL services also increased, such as 1.1 million simultaneous users at peak time in 1999, compared to 718,000 last year, the company said. Daily emails increased from 34 million in 1998 to 67 million this year, as instant messages sent per day jumped from 283 million last year to 475 million in 1999.