R&B artist Chris Brown is making money from a YouTube viral video featuring one of his songs that’s generated 12 million views so far, YouTube reported today in its corporate blog

That’s because the viral video of a bride, groom and their wedding party entering the church to the dance tune “Forever” took off in popularity in the last 11 days. As the video rose in views, YouTube added “click to buy” links to purchase the song on Amazon and iTunes.

YouTube said the click-through rate for that video is double the average for the site and has also driven a 2.5 times increase in the click-through rate for links to the song that run across the official “Forever” video. The song, released last year, hit as high as #4 on iTunes this week, YouTube said.

The JK Wedding Dance video demonstrates that to make money on a viral video like this, rights holders need to strike quickly. It’s also a better bet for content owners to monetize videos in this fashion than to issue takedown notices as other pop stars have done when their songs have been used in viral videos.

Here’s the take by Brad Stone over at The New York Times.  And more coverage on Wired.

YouTube spokesperson Chris Dale talked to Beet.TV in May about the click-to-buy ad model.  We republished the interview today.

Daisy Whitney, Senior Producer