Netflix as of March 31 had 27.91 million paid streaming customers, a figure nearly as high as HBO's subscriber base of 28.7 million at the end of 2012. The company also reported a small profit for Q1, and CEO Reed Hastings said investment in original series would continue as "House of Cards" provided a "halo effect" for the service. "If the content is not exclusive ... it might be pleasant to watch on Netflix, but it's not really reinforcing customers to stay with Netflix," Hastings said.

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