As for something better, software developers found it in the late 1990's. It is called Software As A Service (SaaS). It doesn't work for other forms of art, like movies and music, but it is extremely effective for software.
Consumers don't own a copy of the software behind Facebook or Twitter or Steam or Origin or Instagram or Google Docs or Office 365. Even though they don't own a copy, the masses are more than willing to invest fortunes on the platforms. Using them requires an Internet connection, and it requires that their servers are running.
When you start editing your documents on Google Docs or Office 365 you do not own a copy of the editor. You are relying entirely on software outside your control.
My company is just one of countless others that have made a hard choice; the choice to get Office 365 where they do not have a copy of the software. On the one hand this greatly simplifies our IT department's job, it is one less piece of software to install on thousands of computers, and it is far cheaper to license.
But the down side is we don't have our own copy of the software. If our Internet access goes down, Office is down. If Office365 servers have maintenance we are dead in the water. And most relevant: we are entirely at the mercy of the company for access to the software.
Services come and go over time. Usually they die when their customer base shrinks low enough. It is unlikely that Google Docs and Office 365 will suddenly stop services today, but we can be sure they will turn off the servers at the end of the product's life. That will be either when a new product is available or when most users have moved on. Anyone relying on their services at that time will simply be out of luck; whatever they had on the services will be lost.
This protects the interest of the creator --- they will get paid. And they can get paid on an annual or per-use basis.
It impacts the customer in that the consumer because, in order to keep their business competitive the vendor must continuously add features and functionality. But it also has the fatal flaw: the moment the creator stops supporting the product, they are left with a useless smart-client with no server.