Of course, creating a new set of rules poses a threat to the businesses that have thrived playing the old game. The ability to buy books online with just a click, as well as the cut-rate pricing pressure that online retailers such as Amazon offer, have undermined brick-and-mortar booksellers. TV and movie studios are trying to figure out how to make money when consumers can often swipe their programming for free or watch those shows on subscription services, such as Amazon Instant Video, and its rivals Netflix and Hulu.
"Amazon is not afraid to invest ahead of the curve," said Dan Geiman, an analyst at McAdams Wright Ragen in Seattle. "They have a huge group of customers who view them very favorably, and they can leverage that."