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    Tig Notaro’s ‘Drawn’ Explores Strange New Worlds: Animated Ones

    The stand-up special is built around audio recorded in live performances. Then artists went to work. Sometimes they took her bits far beyond what she expected.One day during the production of her new, animated stand-up special, Tig Notaro was presented with a rough illustrated version of an anecdote about her double mastectomy. In the bit, Notaro ponders what her doctors might have done with her discarded breasts after the surgery she underwent following a 2012 cancer diagnosis. What if, she asks, the remains had been tossed in a Hollywood dumpster? Might they have been left for rodents to play tug of war with? More

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    Seth Meyers Demands His Own Ben & Jerry’s Flavor

    If Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Fallon can be on ice cream containers, why not the “Late Night” host?Welcome to Best of Late Night, a rundown of the previous night’s highlights that lets you sleep — and lets us get paid to watch comedy. Here are the 50 best movies on Netflix right now. More

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    HBO and HBO Max Subscribers Seen Reaching 73 Million in 2021

    AT&T may not want HBO Max anymore, but the streaming platform is gaining traction with customers.HBO and HBO Max, home to genre-bending franchises such as “Game of Thrones” and “The Sopranos” and Hollywood blockbusters like “Wonder Woman 1984,” have added 10.7 million customers in a little over a year, with 2.8 million coming in the three months ending in June, AT&T reported on Thursday. Those figures include both HBO Max and the HBO TV channel.The company has 67.5 million subscribers to HBO and HBO Max, with 47 million in the United States. AT&T, which has struck a deal to sell its media businesses, expects HBO and HBO Max will have between 70 million and 73 million customers by the end of the year, exceeding earlier predictions.Netflix, the most popular streaming service, has 209 million subscribers, with about 66 million in the United States. It gained customers in the second quarter, but growth has considerably slowed and it lost 430,000 subscribers across the United States and Canada, a sign that cracks are beginning to show in the streamer’s long-held dominance.Speaking on the broader streaming industry, Jason Kilar, the chief executive of AT&T’s media arm, WarnerMedia, said in an interview: “The only thing I can promise you is change. There is no doubt that change is coming, and that’s appropriate because we live in a dynamic time.”WarnerMedia, which includes CNN, the Warner Bros. film and television studios and the Turner cable networks, is about to become the property of Discovery Inc., as media companies continue to gobble each other up in an effort to take on Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google. The deal, which is expected to close around the middle of next year, will create the second-largest media business in the United States, behind the Walt Disney Company and ahead of Netflix and NBCUniversal.Mr. Kilar, who learned of the acquisition only weeks before it would be announced, could be out of a job after the deal closes.Both companies are prohibited from working together until the merger is approved by government regulators, including striking any employment agreements. Still, such deals often involve tacit arrangements about leadership. Mr. Kilar said that he had met socially with David Zaslav, the head of Discovery, but that he hadn’t broached the topic of his employment.“David and I have known each other for a long time,” he said, “and I think it’s fair to say there’s a lot of shared respect between the both of us.”Mr. Kilar, who took charge of the company only 15 months ago, said he did not have plans to step away. “There will be a point where I pick my head up next year where I think about this topic,” he continued. “But I certainly don’t intend to do it until 2022.”Jason Kilar, the chief executive of WarnerMedia, in Dallas last December.Allison V. Smith for The New York TimesMr. Kilar, who was the founding chief executive of Hulu, is considered within Hollywood to be a bit of an iconoclast. In 2011, he broadsided the industry with a now-famous manifesto on the future of entertainment that, to many, came across as a blistering critique of Hulu’s corporate ownership.The post panned traditional TV for running far too many commercials. Mr. Kilar also blasted cable, predicting that viewers would eventually drop expensive packages.After Mr. Kilar joined WarnerMedia, he quickly shuffled the executive ranks and cut costs in an effort to streamline the business.Then he angered Hollywood (again) by breaking with tradition and releasing the entire 2021 lineup of Warner Bros. films on HBO Max on the same day they were scheduled to appear in theaters. The move would have cost some of Hollywood’s biggest players back-end profits — the commission that top-flight producers and stars earn based on box office receipts — but the company quickly worked out deals to make sure they would be paid.Unlike Netflix, Disney+ and HBO Max and other new entrants into streaming have legacy agreements with cable distributors and Hollywood studios that prevent a more full-throated approach to making films and TV shows immediately available online.For Mr. Kilar, the move wasn’t about upsetting Hollywood, but rather was part of a larger strategy to goose HBO Max.It seems to have worked. The release of made-for-the-big-screen spectacles like “Godzilla vs. Kong” on HBO Max helped to increase the service’s customer rolls.Mr. Kilar intends to keep up that strategy through 2022. Warner Bros. will release 10 films exclusively for the streaming platform. And big-budget films like “The Batman,” a reimagining of the comic book character starring Robert Pattinson, will have relatively short windows in theaters of 45 days before they show up on HBO Max, according to Mr. Kilar.“That’s very, very different than the way the world operated in 2019,” he said. “Ultimately, I do think that as long as you’re thoughtful about it, change could be very, very good for not only the customers but also the people we get to work with.” More

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    Stephen Colbert Agrees With Mitch McConnell

    Colbert applauded the Senate minority leader for finally encouraging Americans to get vaccinated against Covid-19.Welcome to Best of Late Night, a rundown of the previous night’s highlights that lets you sleep — and lets us get paid to watch comedy. Here are the 50 best movies on Netflix right now.Late to the PartyStephen Colbert on Wednesday chastised Republicans who are changing their tune on the Covid-19 vaccines, including Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader, who is finally urging Americans to get vaccinated amid the spread of the more contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus.“Wow. I’ve got to say — and I hope no one ever takes this out of context — I agree with Mitch McConnell,” Colbert said.“The rising cases are being fueled by vaccine hesitancy, which itself is being fueled by a dangerous pathogen scientists are calling the Republican Party.” — STEPHEN COLBERTRepresentative Steve Scalise, Republican of Louisiana, also encouraged skeptics to get the shots after receiving his first dose this week, saying, “I’ve been vaccinated, many of my colleagues have been vaccinated, and the vaccine is safe, effective, and it’s widely available.”“Yeah, Steve, we know. We all got it months ago.” — STEPHEN COLBERT“Steve Scalise is like the guy who just now found out about ‘Bridgerton’: [imitating Scalise] ‘You guys, it’s like Jane Austen, but with high, tight man butt. That Shonda Rimes has got a real future.’” — STEPHEN COLBERT“But Scalise seems to want it both ways, because he then criticized public health outreach, saying, ‘You’re seeing some people try to bully people into doing things instead of just encouraging them.’ OK, that’s a good point. Invite people in, entice them, don’t call them out. So tonight, we at ‘The Late Show’ have updated our prize for any unvaccinated Americans who go get the shot. You will now win a lifetime supply of ‘life’ and ‘time.’” — STEPHEN COLBERT“Inoculations have slowed dramatically, and less than half of the total U.S. population is fully vaccinated. So if you think of it like a pie, about half of the pie would be vaccinated while the other half wouldn’t be able to taste the pie because they have Covid.” — STEPHEN COLBERTThe Punchiest Punchlines (Bucking Tradition Edition)“Hey, I want to say congrats to the Milwaukee Bucks for winning their first N.B.A. championship in 50 years. Fifty years. That’s right, they beat the Phoenix Suns, 105-98. But of course, Arizona has demanded a recount.” — JIMMY FALLON“The game was such a disaster for the Suns, Chris Paul had to file a claim with State Farm to cover his losses.” — ANTHONY ANDERSON, guest host of “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” referring to the Suns point guard“The finals’ M.V.P. was Giannis Antetokounmpo, who’s from Greece. Yep, a Greek N.B.A. superstar. He could be the first person to star in ‘Space Jam’ and ‘Mamma Mia.’” — JIMMY FALLONThe Bits Worth WatchingAnthony Anderson, the guest host of “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” sent cameras to Hollywood Boulevard to find someone who could spell “Giannis Antetokounmpo.”What We’re Excited About on Thursday NightHannah Einbinder, star of the HBO Max series “Hacks,” will sit down with Stephen Colbert on Thursday’s “Late Show.”Also, Check This Out“The Daily Show” became more politically oriented when it was hosted by Jon Stewart, pictured with Senator Bob Dole in 1999, the year Stewart took over from Craig Kilborn. Comedy CentralMadeleine Smithberg and Lizz Winstead, the creators of “The Daily Show,” look back as it turns 25 years old on Thursday. More

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    Skipping the Olympics Is ‘Not an Option’ for Many Advertisers

    Companies have spent more than $1 billion on ads timed to the Tokyo Games, which will take place in empty arenas as the pandemic lingers.The Olympics have long been an almost ideal forum for companies looking to promote themselves, with plenty of opportunities for brands to nestle ads among the pageantry and feel-good stories about athletes overcoming adversity — all for less than the price of a Super Bowl commercial.But now, as roughly 11,000 competitors from more than 200 countries convene in Tokyo as the coronavirus pandemic lingers, Olympic advertisers are feeling anxious about the more than $1 billion they have spent to run ads on NBC and its Peacock streaming platform.Calls to cancel the more than $15.4 billion extravaganza have intensified as more athletes test positive for Covid-19. The event is also deeply unpopular with Japanese citizens and many public health experts, who fear a superspreader event. And there will be no spectators in the stands.“The Olympics are already damaged goods,” said Jules Boykoff, a former Olympic soccer player and an expert in sports politics at Pacific University. “If this situation in Japan goes south fast, then we could see some whipsaw changes in the way that deals are cut and the willingness of multinational companies to get involved.”Panasonic, a top sponsor, will not send its chief executive to the opening ceremony, which is scheduled for Friday. Neither will Toyota, one of Japan’s most influential companies, which also delivered a blow to the Games on Monday when it said it had abandoned its plans to run Olympics-themed television commercials in Japan.In the United States, marketing plans are mostly moving ahead.For NBCUniversal, which has paid billions of dollars for the exclusive rights to broadcast the Olympics in the United States through 2032, the event is a crucial source of revenue. There are more than 140 sponsors for NBC’s coverage on television, on its year-old streaming platform Peacock and online, an increase over the 100 that signed on for the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro.“Not being there with an audience of this size and scale for some of our blue-chip advertisers is not an option,” said Jeremy Carey, the managing director of the sports marketing agency Optimum Sports.A United Airlines commercial featuring the Olympic gymnast Simone Biles will appear on Peacock.United AirlinesIn a Michelob Ultra commercial, the sprinting star Usain Bolt points joggers toward a bar. Procter & Gamble’s campaign highlights good deeds by athletes and their parents. Sue Bird, a basketball star, promotes the fitness equipment maker Tonal in a spot debuting Friday. Chris Brandt, the chief marketing officer of Chipotle, said that the situation was “not ideal,” but that the company still planned to run a campaign featuring profiles of Olympic athletes.“We do think people will continue to tune in, even without fans, as they did for all kinds of other sports,” Mr. Brandt said. “It’s going to be a diminishing factor in terms of the excitement, but we also hope that the Olympics are a bit of a unifier at a time when the country can seem to be so divided every day.”NBCUniversal said it had exceeded the $1.2 billion in U.S. ad revenue it garnered for the 2016 Games in Rio and had sold all of its advertising slots for Friday’s opening ceremony, adding that it was still offering space during the rest of the Games. Buyers estimate that the price for a 30-second prime-time commercial exceeds $1 million.Television has attracted the bulk of the ad spending, but the amount brought in by digital and streaming ads is on the rise, according to Kantar. Several forecasts predict that TV ratings for the Olympics will lag the Games in Rio and London, while the streaming audience will grow sharply.NBCUniversal said that during the so-called upfront negotiation sessions this year, when ad buyers reserve spots with media companies, Peacock had received $500 million in commitments for the coming year.“You won’t find a single legacy media company out there that is not pushing their streaming capabilities for their biggest events,” Mr. Carey, the Optimum Sports executive, said. “That’s the future of where this business is going.”United Airlines, a sponsor of Team U.S.A., scrapped its original ad campaign, one that promoted flights from the United States to Tokyo. Its new effort, featuring the gymnast Simon Biles and the surfer Kolohe Andino, encourages a broader return to air travel.“It didn’t make much sense to focus on a specific destination that Americans might not be able to travel to,” said Maggie Schmerin, the airline’s managing director of advertising and social media..css-1xzcza9{list-style-type:disc;padding-inline-start:1em;}.css-3btd0c{font-family:nyt-franklin,helvetica,arial,sans-serif;font-size:1rem;line-height:1.375rem;color:#333;margin-bottom:0.78125rem;}@media (min-width:740px){.css-3btd0c{font-size:1.0625rem;line-height:1.5rem;margin-bottom:0.9375rem;}}.css-3btd0c strong{font-weight:600;}.css-3btd0c em{font-style:italic;}.css-w739ur{margin:0 auto 5px;font-family:nyt-franklin,helvetica,arial,sans-serif;font-weight:700;font-size:1.125rem;line-height:1.3125rem;color:#121212;}#NYT_BELOW_MAIN_CONTENT_REGION .css-w739ur{font-family:nyt-cheltenham,georgia,’times new roman’,times,serif;font-weight:700;font-size:1.375rem;line-height:1.625rem;}@media (min-width:740px){#NYT_BELOW_MAIN_CONTENT_REGION .css-w739ur{font-size:1.6875rem;line-height:1.875rem;}}@media (min-width:740px){.css-w739ur{font-size:1.25rem;line-height:1.4375rem;}}.css-9s9ecg{margin-bottom:15px;}.css-uf1ume{display:-webkit-box;display:-webkit-flex;display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex;-webkit-box-pack:justify;-webkit-justify-content:space-between;-ms-flex-pack:justify;justify-content:space-between;}.css-wxi1cx{display:-webkit-box;display:-webkit-flex;display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex;-webkit-flex-direction:column;-ms-flex-direction:column;flex-direction:column;-webkit-align-self:flex-end;-ms-flex-item-align:end;align-self:flex-end;}.css-12vbvwq{background-color:white;border:1px solid #e2e2e2;width:calc(100% – 40px);max-width:600px;margin:1.5rem auto 1.9rem;padding:15px;box-sizing:border-box;}@media (min-width:740px){.css-12vbvwq{padding:20px;width:100%;}}.css-12vbvwq:focus{outline:1px solid #e2e2e2;}#NYT_BELOW_MAIN_CONTENT_REGION .css-12vbvwq{border:none;padding:10px 0 0;border-top:2px solid #121212;}.css-12vbvwq[data-truncated] .css-rdoyk0{-webkit-transform:rotate(0deg);-ms-transform:rotate(0deg);transform:rotate(0deg);}.css-12vbvwq[data-truncated] .css-eb027h{max-height:300px;overflow:hidden;-webkit-transition:none;transition:none;}.css-12vbvwq[data-truncated] .css-5gimkt:after{content:’See more’;}.css-12vbvwq[data-truncated] .css-6mllg9{opacity:1;}.css-qjk116{margin:0 auto;overflow:hidden;}.css-qjk116 strong{font-weight:700;}.css-qjk116 em{font-style:italic;}.css-qjk116 a{color:#326891;-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;text-underline-offset:1px;-webkit-text-decoration-thickness:1px;text-decoration-thickness:1px;-webkit-text-decoration-color:#326891;text-decoration-color:#326891;}.css-qjk116 a:visited{color:#326891;-webkit-text-decoration-color:#326891;text-decoration-color:#326891;}.css-qjk116 a:hover{-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}United’s campaign will appear in airports, on social media and on streaming platforms, including Peacock, but not on TV. Ms. Schmerin said the airline wanted to be “matching customers where they are, based on their viewing habits.”Ad agency executives said companies were regularly checking in for updates on the Covid outbreak in Japan and might fine-tune their marketing messages accordingly.“Everyone is a little bit cautious,” said David Droga, the founder of the Droga5 ad agency, which worked on an Olympics campaign for Facebook showcasing skateboarders. “People are quite fragile at the moment. Advertisers don’t want to be too saccharine or too clever but are trying to find that right tone.”Many companies advertising during the Games are running campaigns that they had to redesign from scratch after the Olympics were postponed last year.“We planned it twice,” said Mr. Carey of Optimum Sports. “Think about how much the world has changed in that one year, and think about how much each of our brands have changed what they want to be out there saying or doing or sponsoring. So we crumpled it up, and we started over again.”Visa, a sponsor, will not hold promotional gatherings and client meetings in Tokyo and will not send any senior executives, said Lynne Biggar, the company’s global chief marketing officer. The company’s commercial during the opening ceremony broadcast starts with a soccer game before showing Visa being used in transactions around the world.Visa scrapped plans for in-person Olympics events in Tokyo, but is debuting a commercial during the opening ceremony broadcast.VISANBCUniversal’s sports calendar also includes the Super Bowl in February, for which 85 percent of ad slots are already sold or are in discussions, the company said. Also on the lineup: the FIFA World Cup in Qatar in late 2022 and the Beijing Winter Olympics in February, both of which have put the advertising industry in a difficult position because of China’s and Qatar’s poor records on human rights.First, though, ad executives just want the Tokyo Games to proceed without incident.“We’ve been dealing with these Covid updates every day since last March,” said Kevin Collins, an executive at the ad-buying and media intelligence firm Magna. “I’m looking forward to them starting.” More

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    Kennedy Center Taps Joni Mitchell and Berry Gordy for Awards

    Bette Midler, Lorne Michaels and Justino Díaz will also receive tributes at a ceremony that is expected to look much more like it did before the pandemic.The last Kennedy Center Honors aired on television less than two months ago, but on Wednesday, the institution announced a new batch of honorees, taking a step toward getting the program back on schedule after the upheaval of the pandemic.The recipients include the folk singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell; the stage and screen performer Bette Midler; Berry Gordy, the founder of Motown; Lorne Michaels, the creator of “Saturday Night Live”; and the opera singer Justino Díaz.Because of the pandemic, the 2020 honors were delayed until this year and the celebration did not at all resemble the event from prior years, when artists, politicians and other prominent figures packed into the opera house. Instead, the ceremony was split over several days, and television producers stitched together a combination of recorded at-home tributes and in-person performances that aired in June.This time, the ceremony, scheduled for Dec. 5, promises to look more like the Kennedy Center Honors of old, with the house at capacity and, if all goes well, President Biden in attendance. (President Trump was a no-show at the three ceremonies held during his time in office.)Throughout her career, Bette Midler released more than a dozen studio albums. Her starring role in the Broadway revival of “Hello, Dolly!” earned her a Tony Award for best lead actress in a musical in 2017.Sara Krulwich/The New York Times“It’s going to be the party to end all parties because we haven’t had one in so long,” said Deborah Rutter, president of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.The ceremony will air on CBS, but the date has not been set.The honorees, selected on the recommendation of an advisory committee that includes Kennedy Center officials and past award recipients, include two singer-songwriters, Mitchell and Midler, whose careers started to soar in the early 1970s, when they were in their 20s.Fifty years ago, Mitchell, 77, released “Blue,” her fourth album, which went on to have an enduring influence on singer-songwriters for decades to come. Mitchell, who helped shape an era of protest music with songs like “Big Yellow Taxi” and “Woodstock,” said of the honor, “I wish my mother and father were alive to see this.”Midler’s debut album, “The Divine Miss M,” came out a year after “Blue,” and helped propel her into a career that spread to Broadway, television and film. Midler, 75, put out more than a dozen studio albums, and her run as Dolly Levi in the Broadway revival of “Hello, Dolly!” earned her a Tony Award for best lead actress in a musical in 2017.Berry Gordy, right, onstage in 1981 with Smokey Robinson, one of the many singers discovered by Gordy.Joan Adlen/Getty ImagesIn Gordy, the founder of Motown Records, the Kennedy Center is honoring the figure behind an entire generation of musical talent. Gordy, now 91, once borrowed $800 from his family to start the record company and then went on to discover and help ignite the careers of Diana Ross and the Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye and more.After announcing his retirement two years ago, Gordy said in an interview, he spends much of his time playing golf, tennis and chess.“Here we are 60 years later and Diana Ross and the Temptations are both coming out with new albums,” he said. “Motown’s legacy continues without me having to do anything.”This year is the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy Center’s opening in 1971, more than a decade after President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed legislation creating a National Cultural Center. Shortly after the grand opening of the center, Díaz, then a 31-year-old opera singer, performed there as the male lead in Ginastera’s “Beatrix Cenci.” He played a villainous count and recalled handling two huge Mastiffs onstage during his first entrance.Now, at 81, Díaz, a bass-baritone who has performed for opera companies across the globe, will return to the opera house to see artists pay tribute to his career.Fifty years ago, Justino Díaz sang at one of the opening performances at the Kennedy Center. Now, he will return for a celebration of his career.Presley Ann/Patrick McMullan, via Getty Image“Little old me?” he said in an interview. He noted that despite his fame in the opera world, he is not a household name.“I say I’m an opera singer,” he said, “and immediately I have to follow with, ‘No, I’m not Plácido Domingo and I’m not Luciano Pavarotti.’”Rutter said that although the last ceremony was limited by social distancing requirements, there are aspects of it that she wishes to maintain. In particular, she said, there was a sense of intimacy in that celebration that had not been there before. At one point, she noted, as the artists mingled outside on a terrace, Rhiannon Giddens picked up her banjo, began playing, and Joan Baez started to dance.“It was spontaneous,” Rutter said. “The artists broke open their instruments and people started singing and dancing together.”(It is unclear whether the attendees this year will be required to wear masks, as they will be required to do for the Kennedy Center’s fall programming.)Michaels, 76, who created “S.N.L.” in 1975, was also forced by the pandemic to drastically rethink his show. In the spring of 2020, “S.N.L.” filmed sketches at its actors’ homes, allowing the audience to connect with the cast members in a new way. Now that they have returned to a live audience, they are thinking of ways to apply what they learned in quarantine.“Those shows had a strong homemade quality, which was part of their charm,” he said. “Once we went back to the audience, we kept pushing the limit of what we could do.” More

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    Is ‘Loki’ a True Marvel Variant? Or Just a Fun Experiment?

    The latest Disney+ superhero show embraced chaos in its storytelling. Is Marvel willing to do the same within its ever expanding universe of films and TV shows?One thing Marvel knows how to do is expand a story. Think back to the nascent days of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the early ’00s. The so-called Phase 1 was about building out the superhero roster with individual film narratives that would dovetail into a big crossover movie: “The Avengers.” A decade and a half later, the crossovers are old hat, the Easter eggs are expected, and a spate of new movies and TV shows continue to provide an influx of stories and characters that branch off into their own universes. More

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    How Disney is Chipping Away at Netflix's Dominance

    The cracks are showing in Netflix’s worldwide dominance.Netflix is still king of streaming video, but audiences are slowly shifting toward new rivals, namely the Walt Disney Company’s Disney+, according to research from Parrot Analytics.Netflix’s share of worldwide demand interest — a measure, created by Parrot, of the popularity of shows and a key barometer of how many new subscribers a streaming service is likely to attract — fell below 50 percent for the first time in the second quarter of the year.The company’s “lack of new hit original programming and the increased competition from other streamers is going to ultimately have a negative impact on subscriber growth and retention,” Parrot said in a news release before Netflix announced its quarterly earnings on Tuesday.Netflix said it had attracted 1.5 million new subscribers in the second quarter of the year, beating the low bar it had set when it told Wall Street that it anticipated adding just one million.The company said it expected to add about 3.5 million new subscribers in the third quarter, lower than the approximately 5.5 million that investors were expecting. Netflix shares fell as much as 4 percent in after-hours trading on Tuesday before bouncing back a little.The company now has 209 million subscribers, but it lost 430,000 in the United States and Canada, its most lucrative region, over the period. It now has 73.9 million subscribers in that market, with about 66 million in the United States.In a letter to shareholders, Netflix said that “Covid-related production delays in 2020 have led to a lighter first-half-of-2021 slate.” Netflix relies on creating as many different shows and films for as many different audiences as possible, and the pandemic upset that formula, forcing the shutdown of productions around the world.Traditional media players have started to consolidate, again, potentially setting off another race for talent, studio space and production resources. In May, Discovery announced that it would buy WarnerMedia from AT&T, creating the second-largest media giant, behind Disney and ahead of Netflix. Less than two weeks later, Amazon announced that it would buy Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, home to the James Bond franchise, for $8.45 billion, a price many analysts considered rich.In the earnings call after the report, Reed Hastings, Netflix’s co-chief executive, said he didn’t think it made sense for Netflix to jump into the consolidation game. He even offered his own analysis of some of the industry’s biggest deals, including Disney’s acquisition of the bulk of Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox.“Certainly Disney buying Fox helps Disney become more of a general entertainment service rather than just a kids and family,” he said. “Time Warner-Discovery — if that goes through — that helps some, but it’s not as significant, I would say, as Disney-Fox.”Mr. Hastings’s co-chief executive, Ted Sarandos, offered a sharper critique of these megadeals. “When are they one and one equals three? Or one and one equals four?” he asked. “Versus what most of them tend to be, which is one and one equals two.”Netflix has downplayed competition concerns even as newer entrants have chipped away at its long-held grip. Disney+ more than doubled its share of demand interest in the second quarter compared with a year earlier, and Amazon Prime Video, AppleTV+ and HBO Max are also gaining, according to Parrot.In its letter to shareholders, Netflix said the industry overall was “still very much in the early days” of the transition from traditional pay television to streaming.“We are confident that we have a long runway for growth,” it said. “As we improve our service, our goal is to continue to increase our share of screen time in the U.S. and around the world.”Mr. Hastings said competition would further stoke streaming across all companies.“As you get new competition in, you get validation — more reasons to get a smart TV or unlimited broadband,” he said. “So for at least the next several years, the growth story of streaming as a whole is very intact.”But Netflix hasn’t seen any impact from the “secular competition,” Mr. Hastings said, referring to Disney or HBO. “So that gives us comfort,” he added.Netflix, he said, is really competing against traditional television, and the “shakeout” won’t happen until streaming makes up the majority of viewing. He cited the latest study from Nielsen, which showed that streaming accounts for about 26 percent of television viewing in the United States, with Netflix making up about 6 percent. Disney+ is far behind at 1 percent.In other words: If Disney+ is hurting us, we haven’t seen it.The argument that Netflix has been competing with regular television and other streamers for a long time overlooks the fact that new rivals like Disney+ and AppleTV+ are much cheaper than Netflix (and subscription television). And although those services produce far fewer originals than Netflix, they appear to be getting more bang for their buck.In the second quarter, Disney+ got a big boost of demand interest from “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” a series based on the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which has thoroughly dominated the box office in recent years. “Loki,” another Marvel spinoff, also helped, according to Parrot.Amazon Prime Video got a boost in the period with “Invincible,” an animated superhero series for adults. And AppleTV+ attracted new customers with three originals: “Mosquito Coast,” a drama based on the 1981 novel; “For All Mankind,” a sci-fi series; and “Mythic Quest,” a comedy series that takes place in a game developer studio.Speaking of, Netflix said this month that it planned to jump into video games. It has hired a gaming executive, Mike Verdu, formerly of Electronic Arts and Facebook, to oversee its development of new games. It’s a potentially significant move for the company, which hasn’t strayed far from its formula of television series and films.The company called gaming a “new content category” that will be a “multiyear effort” and said it would be included as part of a subscribers’ existing plans at no extra cost. Games will first appear on its mobile app, an environment that already allows for interactivity. The vast majority of Netflix’s customers watch on big-screen televisions.Gaming isn’t meant to be a stand-alone or a separate element within Netflix. “Think of it as making the core service better,” Mr. Hastings said. “Really, we’re a one-product company with a bunch of supporting elements.” More