The crux of the problem is that Hulu’s ad sales are still dwarfed by some $30 billion annually in programming fees that pours into the media giants from cable, satellite and telecom providers. Those fees support the cost of producing content, and undercutting them by steering viewers away from TV and to the Internet would jeopardize the sturdiest financial leg of the TV industry.
As long as the production costs of making/distributing a profitable (linear) Television series remain orders of magnitude greater than the production costs of making/distributing a profitable (internet) Television series, these two business models will remain quite different.
Independent TV Series produced on the web are made on shoestring budgets, and monetized largely by advertisers. Many of these smaller independent production companies are starting to make profits.
The challenge for TV Industry is that people want to watch TV online. But in order to make that possible, they have to monetize their shows the same way. This means that ad loads would have to be the same (8 minutes of ads for 22 minutes of content). But even then, since advertisers pay the networks based on share and ratings on linear television as ‘measured’ by Nielsen, a fair amount of revenue will not be recognized since measuring web viewership is far more accurate and leaves very little room for extrapolating audience data the way Nielsen does.
An equilibrium between these two businesses may be achieved at some point in the future, but it will most likely come at a cost of the Television Networks changing their business model, not the other way around. And that’s not going to happen any time soon.