Top 3 Prolific Alternatives & Evaluation in 2023

Economic uncertainties, combined with the rapidly evolving tech business landscape, have forced many organizations to optimize their resources, often through painful layoffs. Yet, business demands continue to grow, necessitating an efficient solution to fill the talent gap created by such layoffs.

One such solution that has gained significant popularity is the use of crowdsourcing platforms. Studies estimate that online talent platforms not only can help fill the talent gap but also improve business productivity and efficiency, and lead to global economic growth (Figure 1).

One such crowdsourcing platform is Prolific. In this article, we evaluate Prolific and present some alternatives for businesses exploring other options. The article also provides a short summary table at the start of the article for a quick fix.

Figure 1. Online talent platforms show a positive future

An illustration showing that online talent platform will benefit the global economy by $2.7 trillion by 2025. Reinstating the importance of Prolific alternatives.
Source: McKinsey

A comparison table of Prolific with the 3 alternatives

Table 1. User ratings comparison

Company G2 Trustpilot Capterra AIMultiple
Prolific 4.3 2.7 N/A N/A
Clickworker 3.9 4.4 4.4 N/A
Amazon Mechanical Turk 4.1 2.1 N/A N/A
Appen 4.1 N/A 4.1 4.3

Table 2. Pricing and crowd size comparison

Company Plans Free-trial Crowd size
Prolific – Pay-as-you-go
– Scale
FALSE 130k+
Clickworker – Custom pricing TRUE 4.5M+
Amazon Mechanical Turk – Custom pricing FALSE 500k+
Appen N/A FALSE 1M+

Prolific overview

Prolific, a UK-based crowdsourcing platform, has positioned itself at an evolving business trend. The company leverages a large network of contributors worldwide to assist businesses in various tasks, from conducting research to gathering AI training data and even training and testing AI/ML models.

Services offered by Prolific

Prolific’s key services are built around AI and research. The platform enables businesses to:

  • Gather and prepare human-generated AI/ML training data sets.
  • Train and evaluate AI/ML models using its network of contributors in real-world scenarios.
  • Conduct RLHF (Reinforcement learning from human feedback) for AI or generative AI models. 
  • Conduct academic & AI research & surveys
  • Crowd size 130k+

User ratings

The reviews focus mainly on research and data collection tasks.


Currently, the company only offers a Pay-as-you-go plan for which prices were not provided.

Why should one need alternatives for Prolific?

Our research identified some weak points of Prolific, which may lead users to seek alternatives. This section highlights some of those weaknesses identified from publically available and verifiable data such as customer reviews.

  • Data collection service1:
    • Prices are too high
    • Lack of audits for contributors.
  • Research-related tasks2:
    • Lack of monitoring of participants (Customers can not report participants in case they provide abusive responses).
    • The platform creates room for human error among research participants.

Top 3 Prolific alternatives

Prolific, it is not the only player in this field. Let’s explore 3 alternatives to Prolific.

1. Clickworker

Clickworker is a popular alternative to Prolific since it also offers a crowdsourcing platform with a large network of contributors. Clickworker’s customer base includes 4 out of 5 tech giants in the U.S. Clickworker’s services include:

  • Collection and preparation of large-scale AI/ML training datasets.
  • RLHF services for developing AI/ML
  • Data services by a network of 4.5+ million contributors
  • Text and audio datasets in 45+ languages
  • Data categorization and tagging
  • Conducting relevant surveys and web research
  • Providing customer insights from the point of sale
  • Offering product data maintenance

User ratings

Clickworker pricing

  • The client determines workers’ pay for each assignment (Free recommendations on setting the rates are provided by the Clickworker).
  • A free trial is offered.

2. Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk)

MTurk is another popular alternative to Prolific. An integral part of Amazon’s ecosystem, MTurk offers a marketplace for work where businesses (Requesters) can hire people (Turkers) to complete tasks or micro-tasks against compensation. These tasks often involve: 

  • Data collection, annotation, and validation, 
  • Research & survey participation
  • Content moderation

User ratings

MTurk pricing

  • The workers’ pay is determined by the clients for each assignment.
  • MTurk charges 20% on the worker’s pay and 20% extra on tasks with 10 or more assignments.
  • MTurk charges an extra 5% off the pay for workers with a Master’s qualification. However, some clients complained3 that the quality of these workers’ output is not different from other workers, and even though they take less time, they provide data of lower quality.
  • A free trial is not offered.

You can also read our separate article on MTurk alternatives.

3. Appen

Another relevant alternative on the list is Appen which also offers data collection and management services via a crowdsourcing model. You can also read our separate article on Appen alternatives.

Appen’s services include:

  • Collection and preparation of AI training datasets (Audio, image, video, text, sensory)
  • Data annotation and model evaluation services.
  • RLHF services for developing AI/ML

User ratings:

Appen pricing

Pricing information was not provided by Appen.

Transparency statement

Numerous emerging tech companies, including Clickworker, are sponsors of AIMultiple.

AIMultiple analyzed the Prolific alternatives using relevant, public, and verifiable data.

Further reading

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A negative review from G2 explaining the cons of Prolific's data collection services. reinstating the need to use prolific alternatives.


A negative customer review for Prolific reinstating the need for prolific alternatives.


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Shehmir Javaid is an industry analyst at AIMultiple. He has a background in logistics and supply chain management research and loves learning about innovative technology and sustainability. He completed his MSc in logistics and operations management from Cardiff University UK and Bachelor’s in international business administration From Cardiff Metropolitan University UK.

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This post originally appeared on TechToday.

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