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One Direction have launched an intriguing digital marketing campaign for their new album ‘Four’, which involves sending fans to streaming music service Spotify to find hidden “snippets” of tracks.

You guys mentioned #FOUR A LOT … so … find the first #H1DDENinSpotify snippet by typing Y567FN7089 in to your @Spotify search,” tweeted out the band’s official account this afternoon.

Fans doing as they were told were taken to this track on Spotify: a song called FHR84JRBD by a band called Y567FN7089. It’s not a song: it’s a 48-second audio clip of a member of One Direction talking about how weird it is doing a photo-shoot for an album.

(Fans, we at Music Ally are old men. You’re going to have to help us out with which member it is.)

The band had earlier encouraged fans to get #H1DDENinSpotify and #FOUR trending on Twitter to kick the campaign off, and shortly after tweeting the first track, tweeted a second. There’s also a #H1DDENinSpotify playlist with the album plus a few older songs, for fans to follow – more than 224,000 have done at the time of writing. It’s a clever idea, and one tailor-made for the One Direction audience.

Perhaps just as importantly, it allies One Direction closely to Spotify, at a time when Taylor Swift has removed her catalogue from the streaming service, and Take That have struck an exclusive one-month deal with Google Play for their new album. Earlier this month, Spotify revealed that One Direction have just passed one billion streams on the service, too.

Stray thought: do 1D get paid royalties for streams of the spoken-word snippets? Nice work if you can get it…

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  1. Old men of Music Ally: The first track is the magnificent voice of Harry Styles. Oh my God. His voice. His f-cking voice.

    Second track is Liam Payne.

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