It has been reported that Apple already has Hulu Plus running on the Apple TV, but the public release is likely being delayed for political reasons. Not wanting to cannibalize iTunes TV sales, Apple could purposefully be sitting on a feature that the masses are clearly dying to get their hands on.
While already available on the iPad and iPhone, the Apple TV is basically an iTunes ATM machine for Apple. Their only revenue stream after the initial purchase of it is through iTunes TV and movie sales. Launching Hulu Plus on the platform could potentially harm sales, but I think they aren’t seeing the forest for the trees.
Failing to give the masses what they want just gives them a reason to look elsewhere for their next upgrade. Personally, I hate Hulu. I don’t find the experience enjoyable at all. That being said: make your consumers happy. Give them what they think they want, and keep striving to be better. iTunes with iCloud can be better than experience, and to me, it already is. Apple needs to keep improving and stop worrying about what everyone else is doing. Apple does best when they are changing the game. They don’t need to play defensively.
Making things more complicated, Hulu is struggling right now. In fact, recently they were reported to be shopping themselves to Apple and Google, though no one was willing to shell out enough to seal the deal. It’s doubtful that this could be an additional reason, as it could be easily depreciated via a software update should the service ever vanish.