In case you did not realize this here is a simple classification done by many companies:
- You give money to the company. = You are a customer.
- You do not give money to the company. = You are part of the product to be sold to customers.
So for TS that means the customers are paying players and the companies paying for the ads.
Any player who does not pay money to TS on the other hand is a part of the product as in
- to amuse the paying players as opponents and
- to be used as audience for the ads paid by the companies.
The part about being made to watch ads is covered by granting the free players some bonus reward like tokens or increased gold etc. which TS can provide and create without any costs for them.
The part about amusing the paying players is done by making really strong items that you can almost certainly only get by paying money for the game.
This gives the paying players an advantage over most of the non-paying players and hence makes the game more enjoyable for the paying players.
Beause it makes the game easier and the feeling of “success” stronger it also encourages the paying players to continue to pay money to keep that status and that feeling of “achievement” and “success”.