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Roblox Corporation (NYSE:RBLX)
Q1 2021 Earnings Call
May 11, 2021, 8:30 a.m. ET

Contents:

  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:


Operator

Good morning. My name is James, and I will be your conference operator today. At this time, I'd like to welcome everyone to the Roblox Q1 2021 earnings Q&A Session. [Operator instructions] I'm now going to hand it over to Anna Yen, Roblox head of investor relations.

Anna, you may begin your conference.

Anna Yen -- Head of Investor Relations

Thanks, James. Good morning, everyone, and thank you for joining our Q&A session to discuss Roblox's first-quarter 2021 results. With me today is Roblox's CEO, David Baszucki; and CFO, Michael Guthrie. Before we start, I want to remind everybody that yesterday after market closed, we published a shareholder letter and earnings results on our Investor Relations website at ir.roblox.com.

Since the letter provides a lot of details, we will make some brief opening remarks and reserve the rest of the time for your questions. [Operator instructions] On today's call, we may be making forward-looking statements, including statements about our future growth rates and business and investment strategies. Any statements that refer to expectations, projections, or other characterizations of future events, including financial projections, future market conditions, or the impact of COVID-19 on our business and on the economy as a whole, is a forward-looking statement based on assumptions today. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed in these forward-looking statements, and we make no obligations to update our disclosures.

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For more information about factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from forward-looking statements please refer to the press release we issued yesterday as well as risks described in our registration statement on Form S-1, particularly the section titled Risk Factors. This information can also be found on other filings with the SEC when available. We will also discuss certain non-GAAP financial measures. These measures should not be considered in isolation from or as a substitute for financial information prepared in accordance with GAAP.

Reconciliations between GAAP and non-GAAP metrics for our reported results can be found in our press release issued yesterday as well as in our supplemental materials, copies of which can be found on our IR website. Finally, this call is being webcast and will be archived on our website shortly after. With that, I'm going to turn the call over to Dave.

Dave Baszucki -- Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Thanks, Anna, and thanks to everyone for joining us today. Before we start taking questions, I want to begin by saying that our hearts go out to the people around the world who are still suffering as a result of COVID-19. It appears we're making progress, and it's also clear that this virus is still a global challenge. Like everyone, we want to put these risks behind us as soon as possible.

Just this month, at Roblox, we're going to begin to open our offices on a limited basis. And we hope that by mid-September, our offices can be fully opened. This is our first earnings call since our direct listing on March 10. Yesterday afternoon, we posted our earnings results and a letter to all shareholders as well as supplemental financial and metrics data on our Investor Relations website.

We hope this information was helpful insight into our performance in Q1. It's been an exciting period, and we're looking forward to answering your questions. With that, we'll turn it back over to the operator.

Questions & Answers:


Operator

[Operator instructions] And our first question comes from the line of Alexia Quandrian from J.P. Morgan. Go ahead, please. Your line is open.

Alexia Quadrani -- J.P. Morgan -- Analyst

Thank you very much. I was wondering if you could give us your update or thoughts on sort of longer-term growth. Specifically, in the press release, you did highlight great accomplishments in terms of international expansion inching up, which I know has been a more near term and consistent growth driver for you. But when you look longer term, like what extensions such as music, advertising, any kind of other sorts of partnerships, what other sort of extensions do you see as more achievable sort of in the intermediate term? Thank you.

Michael Guthrie -- Chief Financial Officer

Yes. Thanks for your question. Let me just start by saying in the near term and in the longer term, we still see incredible opportunity in the core growth drivers, which is to continue to expand the business geographically and to grow the user base in terms of the age demographic. So we feel like we're nowhere close to being done on those two growth factors, and those still are both short-term goals for us and substantial long-term goals for us to continue to expand.

When we look at geographic expansion, in particular, in Asia, we have a long way to go all across Europe, and we're still very optimistic about the potential for increased growth in North America and in some of our core markets like the United Kingdom and then Scandinavia. So we still see, if we were to say, sticking to our knitting on user growth, aging up and geographic, those are still really big growth drivers for us over the next few years. In terms of platform extensions, we still are -- we're obviously very excited about where the platform can go. We haven't given any specific numbers around brand partnerships or music, but you've obviously seen some progress.

We talked about it in the shareholder letter, and we certainly see longer-term potential for those expansions to our platform as well.

Dave Baszucki -- Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer

I think -- and just riffing off Mike, this is Dave. In Q1, our over 13 DAUs grew by 111% and our hours are up 128%.

Alexia Quadrani -- J.P. Morgan -- Analyst

Thank you.

Operator

Our next question comes from the line of Brian Nowak with Morgan Stanley. Go ahead, please. Your line is open.

Brian Nowak -- Morgan Stanley -- Analyst

Thanks for taking my question. I have two. The first one on China. Just curious, I know it's very early, but any sort of early learnings from China? And just sort of, as we sort of think about this opportunity, are there any material differences that you see in the China potential user base that could cause the slope of penetration or payer growth to different than other regions? And then secondly, on aging up, David, it was a good disclosure around the age up you just mentioned on users and time spent.

Can you just give us some examples of some of the content that's really driving the aging up of the overall user base to sort of really realize that opportunity?

Dave Baszucki -- Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Yes. A couple of things just to share first. In China, we do have a license. We are live.

And we've seen very early signs of what we hope to have happened, which is we've seen some developers in China breaking to the top 250 in the world market. And we have many, many world outside of China devs who are now live in China. The other thing to note is we've seen consistent growth in South Korea, in Hong Kong, in Russia, in Brazil, and really all around the world. So we can't make any forward-looking predictions on China, but we see a lot of lovely patterns out there.

As far as aging up, we continue to be impressed with the quality of the content and the creations that our developers are making. And more and more of the content is helping drive this exciting trend, which we're close to passing, if not passing, Mike can chime in, having more of our users being 13 over than under 13. I'll highlight the fun, exciting and iconic game, Piggy, which won our Bloxy Awards, which is extremely appealing to players on our platform of all pages.

Brian Nowak -- Morgan Stanley -- Analyst

Great. Thanks, Dave.

Operator

Our next question comes from the line of Mike Ng with Goldman Sachs. Go ahead, please. Your line is open.

Mike Ng -- Goldman Sachs -- Analyst

Hi. Good morning. Thank you very much for the question. I just have two.

First, can you talk a little bit more about the investments in personnel and R&D made in the quarter, specifically, which areas of the product roadmap are you investing for now? And how should we think about Roblox's investments in R&D for the rest of this year and over the midterm? And then second, I was just wondering if you could talk a little bit about the April bookings that you guys disclosed. Is that a good way to think about the rest of the second quarter? And how are you thinking about engagement and bookings cadence through the rest of the year? Thank you.

Dave Baszucki -- Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer

We will -- Mike and I will both answer this. I'll talk a bit high level about where we're investing in R&D. Then I'll kick it over to Mike for the numbers and then for April. The -- an exciting thing about our platform is the breadth of technology that supports what we're doing, and we go all the way from a mobile client to a 3D immersive cloud engine, to developer toolkit, to back-end infra.

It's an extremely broad surface area. And part of our Roblox philosophy and the way we think about the company is we need to be innovating in many, many areas. It's what has brought us to where we are today, and what we're doing right now behind the scenes is doing that again for five years out. So some of the things we've highlighted in prior calls publicly, safety and stability, not just being defensive but really leading the industry and creating a civil society on our platform and all the check behind that, ML, AI, including our human awesome team of over 2,000 moderators.

Getting into the future of communication, which includes safe and civil, not just test but voice and no ship base there, but lots of great work to come there. Our avatar system, which we've had some early announcements on some of the tech. It's really an early signal though for an Avatar identity system that lets everyone be who they want to be, whether it's a fashion model, a soldier, traditional Roblox character, cartoon character. We have this wonderful mix of our clients and our infra working together to really provide these immersive experiences.

There's a lot of work going on there. So covering the place where we're investing, it's really manifold. We do invest 80% of our -- not really invest. We have stayed true to the notion that about 80% of our people are working on product and engineering.

We see this going into the foreseeable future. And I've touched on about four-tenths of the big areas. I'm not going to go into all of them right now. I'll kick it over to Mike, though, to go more into the numbers.

Michael Guthrie -- Chief Financial Officer

Sure. Hey, Mike. So a couple of things. When we did it the forecasting work inside the company for the direct listing, basically, the underlying assumptions where we looked at all of our core metrics, we obviously were looking at it at a time when we were sort of right in the middle of COVID, and we had seen pretty big risks in our business.

And we made some assumptions around COVID basically as a global situation being out of the system by the end of the second quarter. So in fact, we picked an end date to the pandemic, if you will, when we did our forecasting. Now that hasn't happened. And so there's obviously still in the second quarter, there's a combination of just core metrics and core growth and improvement in the business.

And there's still obviously -- the influences of COVID are still in the numbers as well. People bookings overall were very strong, definitely higher than what we expected, and somewhere around, I don't know, 45% to 47% of the consensus numbers for the quarter. So our April numbers were really strong. When we look at what that means in the medium and longer term, I'll just say the following.

when the pandemic started, we immediately saw engagement go up. Right? We had a substantial user base at the time who immediately had more time and spent more time on the platform. And then we grew users very quickly, and those users have the ability to engage very quickly as well. Because of that, we started to see really strong conversion to payers and really strong monetization, and that's obviously reflected in the step-up in bookings that we've seen over the last several quarters.

But if you look at April, what you will see is bookings looks to be the highest growth of all of the numbers. Partly, that's because bookings took a while to get going vis-a-vis users' engagement last year. And partly, I think it's because we just have -- when you get down to those are the most -- clearly, the most engaged users are the ones that end up becoming payers. And so we're just seeing really high conversion and monetization characteristics as we head into the rest of the year.

Mike Ng -- Goldman Sachs -- Analyst

Great. Thank you very much, Dave and Mike. Much appreciated.

Dave Baszucki -- Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Thanks, Mike.

Michael Guthrie -- Chief Financial Officer

Thank you.

Operator

Our next question comes from the line of Drew Crum with Stifel. Go ahead, please. Your line is open.

Drew Crum -- Stifel Financial Corp. -- Analyst

Given your experience around improving payer conversion outside of the U.S. and Canada during 1Q can you discuss any early observations around what has worked thus far? As economies reopen, how are you thinking about monetization overseas progressing as we move through 2021? And then separately, the developer exchange fees have averaged about 18% of bookings in the last several quarters. And your comment in the shareholder letter around returning nearly $500 million to the developer community this year. Just based on 1Q, the math would suggest about $2.7 billion of bookings this year.

Does that make sense? Or how would you push back on that assumption? Thanks, guys.

Dave Baszucki -- Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer

We'll do this in the same order. This -- I'll speak a bit about the stickiness of our economy, and I'll take it back to Mike on the DevEx fees. We developed our DevEx economy over five years ago. And when we did it, the philosophy was to create a system that connects our people on our platform with our developers and allows flexibility in our developers to create amazing content and then to monetize that in a balanced and premium way with our player base and the people on our platform.

We -- this system has turned out to be enormously powerful. And as different countries have come online, whether it's the U.S. and Canada or whether it's Philippines, Brazil, and Russia, in all of these countries over time, we've seen the combination of amazing content and the players becoming more embedded in our platform and driving higher and higher bookings per DAU. So there are no big levers that we have been turning to expect to provide a platform of the tools where developers are making increasingly high-quality content, and that's been driving the engine.

We have made some small adjustments over time. We continue to move as much money as we think it's financially prudent back to the developer community. An example would be in March where we increased the engagement-based payout rate by approximately 75%, which is driving the money we're transferring to developers based on time engaged in that platform. So no future predictions on where DevEx is going, but this general philosophy is we want to run a lean business and give as much money to our developers as possible.

I think you'll see that going forward, and I'll go over to Mike for the rest of that.

Michael Guthrie -- Chief Financial Officer

Yes. And just one of the outputs of the engagement-based payout model has been to get some economics to developers that are maybe not on the top hundred, 200 [Inaudible] framework, but we're seeing out in that -- I don't want to call it the long tail, but we're seeing developers, let's say, that are early in monetizing on the platform, this has been a real boost to their economics as in some cases, virtually all of their economics come from engagement-based payout. And that's great because it keeps them engaged in the platform. And as they get better and better at building amazing content that is appealing to a broader user base, they get some feedback, they get some economic feedback from the market, which is really wonderful.

And so we have high expectations of the productivity of engagement-based payouts over the next few years. Related to your question on developer expense, I think what we're really looking at is -- the Q1 number was almost $120 million if you multiply $120 million times $480 million. When you're inside a company, we often have these big goals. And I can remember, we did an offsite about two years ago where we really challenged ourselves to get to $400 million of engagement-based payoffs actually several years from now.

And now we're in a situation now where, if things break the right way, we could be $0.5 billion this year. So I'd say rather than giving ourselves a goal of $480 million, we like the goal of $0.5 billion.

Dave Baszucki -- Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Yes. And just riffing on that with Mike, that goal at the offsite was for total money to developers. We do believe long-term engagement-based payouts will hit that $400 million. They're a piece of the total developer pay.

Michael Guthrie -- Chief Financial Officer

Yes.

Operator

Our next question comes from the line of Ryan Gee with Bank of America. Go ahead, please. Your line is open.

Ryan Gee -- Bank of America Merrill Lynch -- Analyst

Yes. Hey. Good morning, everyone. Thanks for taking the questions.

So first one, just in terms of identity. So advanced skinning, layered clothing, animations, I think there are several other things you guys are pretty excited about around the direct listing. So can you talk a little bit about what new technologies such as those I mentioned, what that enables for the platform for the users and for the developers? And maybe how that ultimately flows through the model financially? And then second question, it's very encouraging to see the older and the international users continue to grow nicely. Pretty remarkable that marketing was only around $50 million last year in 2020.

So can you maybe talk about the level of investments, how that may change in '21 going forward as you extend your brand awareness into those areas that would require digital -- I mean, does it require a dedicated sales team? Or is it more traditional channels? Thank you.

Dave Baszucki -- Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer

I'll do avatar, and Mike, you do that part. The things we've shipped right now are very early tech components that ultimately form the foundation for our vision around identity and avatar. Our vision, and we shared it publicly before, is we really believe everyone on our platform will ultimately be who they want to be and who you want to be. Avatar is very important.

It's whatever we can imagine. And so our vision is everything from cartoon characters to classic Roblox blocky avatars, to ultimately AAA avatars that we see around a wide range of immersive 3D experience. What we're building internally is technologies that allow combinatorial excellence, and it includes a system where any piece of clothing works on any avatar. And also where ultimately, motion integrates with this system as well, including both captured motion as well as you can see with our acquisition of Loom.ai, a vision for ultimately including your own motion to drive the face of your avatar.

So it's still early. And this complements our vision that ultimately, our whole avatar system, including clothing, body, face, hair, animation, is 100% UGC, supported by our creator community. You're going to see over the next year, more and more developments along this, and I personally believe it's going to really expand the vision of what Roblox is.

Michael Guthrie -- Chief Financial Officer

Ryan, so on the economic side, back to when we wrote the perspective and we did Investor Day, we talked a lot about the characteristics of the metaverse and what you're getting at is the importance of identity. And so Dave gave you some of the technical investments. It's a really good example of how investments in the platform and the power of the community come together is -- what we see is the spending on identity right now and it's happening with avatar. So about three and a half years ago, our split between Robux spend in experience versus on investments in catalog or investments in the identity was 80-20, the experience was getting 80%, 20% in the catalog.

Since then, we've made the catalog user-generated and made all these investments in the platform, these technical and product investments in the platform. And we've seen it's slowly moved from 80-20 to -- actually not slowly, but 75-25. And in the past quarter, it's actually about 70-30. So we see users are choosing to spend more of their Robux on their identity, and they're still spending -- they're still growing their spend and experience.

But it's clearly important to them on the Roblox platform to invest in their identity. And as we make more investments in technology and product, what is possible is just going to increase. So I think we're going to see continued strong investment in identity on the platform. As it relates to marketing spend, look, we've always proudly focused on building great products and believing that there's excellent product-market fit.

And if you go back to the underlying economic model, we generally talk about four areas of investment, the four big cost buckets: there's payment processing, which we've talk about; there's personnel, which is 80% engineering and product people; there's the money we share with the developers in the community, and then there's trust and safety and infrastructure. And then everything else, we're just really, really careful about spending. And that model has been really efficient for us over the years. It's driven really great unit economics.

And we've, I guess, been in a situation where we haven't had to spend a lot of money to drive user growth. That organic signal to us is one that tells us that the product is doing well. And so I don't think you should expect to see us change that over the next few years.

Operator

Our next question comes from the line of Matthew Thornton with Truist Securities. Go ahead, please. Your line is open.

Matthew Thornton -- Truist Securities -- Analyst

Hey. Good morning, Dave. Good morning, Mike. A couple of quick ones for me.

I guess, first, is there any way to talk about or quantify or give us just any color on kind of what the pipeline looks like for branded experiences, for music experiences maybe now versus where we were, I don't know, 6 or 12 months ago? Any color there? And then just secondly, around subscription. I guess the question is, are we still kind of moving up and to the right in terms of mix? And any way to gauge maybe what any more in, in terms of getting subscription until it gets to kind of full penetrated kind of run rate? Any color there would be helpful as well.

Dave Baszucki -- Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Yes. First, on the pipeline around immersive experiences, we can't announce anything. But historically, if one looks at what we've done starting with Lil Nas X, going to Ava Max, going to One World Together, going through Royal Blood at the Bloxys, there's been enormous progress there. And we're very optimistic that in the future, being together in immersive 3D concert with friends is very different than watching on a screen.

And as we come back together, following this pandemic, I think we've all learned how amazing these types of experiences can be. So we're very optimistic about this. We're not going to announce anything. But more and more technology, both the immersiveness, the ability for audio to be spatialized, ability to talk when in the concerts is going to support more and more amazing experiences.

I'll talk a little about subscriptions, then I'll kick it over to Mike on the numbers. It's also -- we have a vision that ultimately, and once again, the ship dates, the types of experiences in the metaverse are going to be supported by engagement, they're going to be supported by transactions and they're going to be supported by advertising. And when we look at some of the types of experiences that we can imagine on the platform, there will be some experiences that are more and more subscription supported, just like many of our experiences are freemium right now. So there is a range of functionality that we will be rolling out over the next few years to support those types of experiences.

And it's very, very early in where we see subscriptions going. That said, our current people who have Roblox premium retained amazingly well. It's a wonderful source of virtual currency for Robux. And even subscriptions as we have them right now are a wonderful really way for people to buy Robux and to retain.

Michael Guthrie -- Chief Financial Officer

Matt, a couple of things. One of your questions was on the pipeline of brands and music. And yes, obviously, look, we're not going to be able to share specifics around pipelines. We've made some comments in the shareholder letter on both brands and music.

And I would expect that in most quarters, over the next several, we will be making some reference to things that we're doing. If you were to ask Craig Donato and his team, my guess is the pipeline of brands -- that more and more brands are interested in a platform of our size and scale. It's a way to reach a user base that's large and growing and very engaged, so there's no doubt that brands are quite interested. We gave two examples -- three examples, rather, in the shareholder letter.

I think one of the things that I like the most about it is that the brands are working with our community to build their experiences. So that's just a really great way, another way for our developers to be able to build cool stuff and see some economics. And so that's just great. Your question about subscription, the only thing I would add to Dave's comments on subscription is that if you're looking at the sources of Robux purchases, the rate of growth in subscription is faster than the rate of growth of a la carte purchases, but both are still very important to us.

Operator

[Operator instructions] Our next question comes from the line of Brandon Ross with Lightshed Partners. Go ahead, please. Your line is open.

Brandon Ross -- Lightshed Partners -- Analyst

Hi. Thanks for taking the question. Maybe just a follow-up on the brands question that you just had prior. Can you talk about two things? One, the role that Roblox is specifically playing in shepherding these brands and media companies onto the platform.

And as brands do come on, is that as a discrete revenue opportunity for you? And how do you think about sizing the overall advertising opportunity on the platform? And then I have a follow-up.

Michael Guthrie -- Chief Financial Officer

Sure. Well, we talked about how are we talking to the brands. We do have a dedicated team under Craig's organization that is responsible for brand partnerships. And that is both, quite honestly, inbound, but also proactive calling and coverage of businesses in retail, media, entertainment, etc.

They do a great job. And again, as a platform that would be attractive to advertisers, I think we have certain characteristics that are very interesting. Ultimately, the way we do advertising would be largely different than I think anybody else. We expect it to be different than just a CPM kind of a business.

So there is a dedicated team. They are active in the market, talking to brands about our platform and what it means our user community, our level of engagement. This is a user base that's hard to reach, especially in the digital world. And linear television is not the right way to reach this audience as well or it's certainly not a growing greater reach this audience.

And so ultimately, we're really optimistic, but it's just -- it's still really early. And so when you ask about sizing the market, I mean, there are a lot of other companies with pure advertising models that probably used to build a model. But for now, I just wouldn't be putting a lot of revenue in our business plan. We're optimistic about where it could go, but right now, it's not as though there's a certain deliverable to that team for 2021.

Dave Baszucki -- Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer

And I'll just riff on Mike a bit, looking more forward without giving anything specific from a vision point of view. An exciting thing about brands connecting with people in immersive platforms like Roblox is it's a noninterrupt model. It's a native immersive experience where right now, people on our platform are wearing boutique products; where right now, without stopping or without being interrupted, our players have seen branding from, for example, the Scooby-Doo movie. So there's a whole different way of advertising reaching consumers without interrupting and with experiences that feel natural.

Ultimately, my hope is the size of the opportunity is related to the total hours of immersion we provide, and in April, that was over 3.2 billion hours. So that is one way to think about what this might be.

Brandon Ross -- Lightshed Partners -- Analyst

OK. And then just a follow-up on DevEx. You talked about the 75% increase in engagement-based payouts. And presumably, that's to help like the real UGC creators that are the core of Roblox.

But there's also been a professionalization of studios being built on your platform we've seen backed by a lot of venture money that's come in over the past year. And does that put any pressure on you to also change the Robux exchange rates, especially as there's actually pressure on those studios to show dollar returns and pay employees in dollars and not Robux? And then also on DevEx, to what extent do you see competition play in your payout to creators on the platform?

Dave Baszucki -- Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Yes. I -- great question. Over the last four to five years, every year, as we've tracked what developer number one, developer 10, developer 100, developer thousand makes, we've seen all of these categories continue to grow. And the total amount of money now going to each of those categories has continued to grow, and I believe, will keep growing.

So the developers coming to our platform are looking toward, "Can I support or can we support a studio?" And our largest studios now aren't in individual hobbies. They have teams of 10, 20, 30, 40 professional devs, and that's part of why we're seeing all of this money flow into the platform. All of the developers and creatives on Roblox are UGC creators, whether it's developer number one or developer number thousand in the pipeline. And so there's a complementary system where even way down that developer number 10,000, as Mike mentioned earlier, there is an organic effect where when that check shows up surprisingly because that experience, that is really experimental, we believe there's been an interaction with that developer where it's motivational to create content on our platform, and it contributes to the funnel of these developers that are rising the ranks to 1,000, 250, one and ultimately, number one.

And so even our top developers participate in engagement-based payout. The other thing is to note, we never would announce a future increase in our DevEx. That said, historically, we have done it several times over the years as our P&L and balance sheet make it prudent. So our top-line philosophy is to move as much money into the hands of these developers as possible.

Michael Guthrie -- Chief Financial Officer

Brandon, remember also, you have to look at the value proposition for developers on our platform. It's a little bit different than in other places. It's used our tools, our servers, content moderation, safety, customer support, billing, collection, and obviously, a large audience, that's really what you get when you come onto the Roblox platform. To your comment and correct insight that we do pay developers in dollars, in 2018, the developer community made $72 million.

In 2021, as we said, we have a goal, we hope, that we can get to $0.5 billion. So the growth from $72 million to potentially $500 million is a lot of incremental dollars. And so we're trying to build the biggest pool of capital that can support the biggest audience of engaged and excited developers as we possibly can. And in terms of just the multiples of the dollars available on the growth rate of those, I think that Roblox is tough to beat.

Brandon Ross -- Lightshed Partners -- Analyst

Great. Thanks very much.

Michael Guthrie -- Chief Financial Officer

Thanks, Brandon.

Operator

Our next question comes from the line of Matthew Thornton with Truist Securities. Go ahead, please. Your line is open.

Matthew Thornton -- Truist Securities -- Analyst

Yes. Thanks, guys. A couple of quick ones for me. I think earlier, you talked about the mix shift toward virtual items for identity and the avatar.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the payout economics there are a little bit lower so that seems like that would be accretive to margin, all else counts. I just want to make sure that we had that right. And then just secondly, I'm just wondering if there's any movement, anything you could say about getting Roblox onto PlayStation, Switch or some of these other platforms? Just any movement on those fronts? Thanks again, guys.

Michael Guthrie -- Chief Financial Officer

Yes. I'll take the margin question, and then I'll turn it over to Dave. You are correct in that the ratios are different. On the other hand, given the size and scale of the business and the investments that we're making, I would just caution everyone against looking at margin leverage immediately happening or in the next few quarters.

We -- obviously, again, the unit economics of the business are quite positive, and we're happy with the cash flow that the business is generating. On the other hand, we see our role right now as investors in this business, not as optimizers in the margin. And I don't mean that in a majority sense, I just mean we are -- we have such a big opportunity, we are so far from the user base and the scale that we want this business to be at, we have so many things that we want to invest in, in product and technology that will enable more and more developers to build incredible content and bring that to a broader set of users that we still are much more focused on those investments, again, hiring more people. It's great to be at over a thousand employees, and it's amazing how we've grown that employee base over the last few years.

But the ambitions of this business, when you talk about billions of users, will take us to thousands and thousands of employees. So we have a long way to go in terms of investment in growing the headcount in the business, and as we've been talking about, the economics for the developer community. If we keep our eyes focused on that, I think, generally, that will just pay incredible dividends because we'll ultimately drive greater growth in the top line of the business.

Dave Baszucki -- Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer

And then riffing on devices, there's a wonderful historical context to this. It goes all the way back to the original iPhone, where prior to that, two-dimensional HTML content was not consumable on mobile devices. And all of a sudden, with the pinch and zoom that what you consumed on your desktop is the same as what you consume on your phone. It was pivotal.

We have the same vision for the immersive 3D multiplayer cloud stuff of the metaverse in that we believe this should be accessible on all devices, both from viewing as well as interaction. And we've really innovated around this on phone tablet, computer, and Xbox console, showing that developers can create content that when pushed to our cloud, runs on all of these devices as well as auto translates into multiple languages. So absolutely long term, Switch, PlayStation, Quest, all of these platforms make perfect sense for Roblox. What you've seen right now is an incredible focus on the phone by us, which we believe is an incredibly difficult form factor and the most difficult form factor for that immersion.

But these are all logical platforms, and at the same time, we won't share any ship dates for them.

Operator

Our next question comes from the line of David Gibson with Astris Advisory. Go ahead, please. Your line is open.

David Gibson -- Astris Advisory -- Analyst

Thank you. Just further on your April DAU trend comments, you said that growth was, what, some 37%. Can you give us a sense of how that is different among the major regions like U.S., Canada, Europe, APAC, rest of world? And then secondly, thinking as you emerge from COVID, do you have -- have you seen different trends out of countries that don't have much cohorts like Taiwan, Australia and others that is different or gives you an insight into how you think U.S. and Europe will play out for the future? Thank you.

Michael Guthrie -- Chief Financial Officer

Hi, David. Thanks for the question. If you go to a couple of our materials on the website, we break down users by region and by age. And so those regional numbers in Q1 and those trends that you've seen over the last few quarters pretty much translate into the April numbers.

I don't know if it's absolutely exact, but my strong expectation is when you look at it, it will be pretty similar, meaning the highest growth regions will be Asia Pacific and Europe and slightly trailing in terms of growth and year-over-year growth in April will be the U.S. and Canada.

David Gibson -- Astris Advisory -- Analyst

OK.

Michael Guthrie -- Chief Financial Officer

Around the world, it's hard to get a great signal to find a country that is representative of the rest of the world, where you saw a big COVID spike in 2020. And then you vaccinated or have herd immunity or whatever it is, and then all of a sudden, now you don't have COVID. So it's really difficult to get an absolutely clean signal. What we do see around the world is continued high rates of conversion.

That's probably the one thing that seems characteristic of countries even if COVID isn't as big an issue as it was prior. But I wouldn't say we have a perfect signal. Right now, the U.S. is 60-plus percent of the bookings.

And so we're just still elevated in the United States. And so we don't get that much signal from other parts of the world. I haven't actually looked at Taiwan specifically. So maybe we'll go off and do that homework and see what that tells us.

David Gibson -- Astris Advisory -- Analyst

OK. And then perhaps just generally, how should we think about the seasonality of May and June versus April? I mean, I know it's like a pre-COVID world. Will you see them normally grow anyway, or do they slow down? How should we think about those months?

Michael Guthrie -- Chief Financial Officer

Yes. Normal seasonality, David, is that April has Easter and so it's a little bit bigger than May. And then in June, your seasonality is better than May because basically school is out. And so we see -- normal seasonality is we see a big jump in June versus May, and again, a decline in May versus April.

We didn't have that seasonality last year. Right? We were just growing straight through it. So it will be very interesting to us to see if we see some of that seasonality. I wouldn't be surprised if we do.

Last year, there was no way if the seasonality would come through. This year, I would suspect that that's what you'll see, slight sequential decline in May and then June probably picking up. That's the normal seasonality.

David Gibson -- Astris Advisory -- Analyst

OK. Thanks, guys. Thanks very much.

Michael Guthrie -- Chief Financial Officer

Yes. No problem.

Operator

And I'd now like to turn it over to Anna Yen for some webcast questions.

Anna Yen -- Head of Investor Relations

Hi. All right. First one is from Ryan from [Inaudible] Capital. How do you think about Roblox's potential in education? Have you considered creating educational programs for high school? We see this as an enormous opportunity.

Dave Baszucki -- Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Hey. Great question, Ryan. And even when we started the company Roblox, we had the vision that the best way to help learning was to build a very high-quality consumer platform that was free for everyone with the notion that there'd be enormous educational opportunity. The educational opportunity on our platform is really a stack, and it starts with maybe the more traditional expected learning to create, learning to code, learning to be a designer, learning to be an artist, learning to be a producer.

We already see this manifest both within schools, within summer camps. And more and more, we have a vision that learning computer science will be happening on top of immersive platforms like Roblox. It's just so fun and it's so organic. And we have over 8 million creators right now on the platform who are really learning all of this stuff because it's fun to create stuff and share it with friends.

But going beyond this, we go to the next level, whereas we start to think about what went on in COVID, the ability at times to be together on the platform. You start to see educational opportunities that start to parallel books and video. And we use the classic example, when we're studying ancient Rome, in the future, we'll read about it, we'll watch video about it. But costumes will go to ancient Rome together and immerse in it.

And we think these will all be viable ways about learning and emphasizing and understanding. Way out in the future, we're very optimistic about people who don't have access to certain schooling or education, either geographically or for other reasons, really using the metaverse to participate spatially in learning activities. And so there's just such a bright future around supporting education on all of these levels. We are starting to support external vendors as well as our own internal curriculum, and we think there's a bright future there.

Anna Yen -- Head of Investor Relations

OK. Thanks, Dave. The next one is from Justin. Can you discuss any plans you have regarding video content integration in some live experiences? And do you see video as a potential extension to attract new users and to further monetize the platform?

Dave Baszucki -- Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Yes. We -- great question. And for those of us that participated in the One World Together experience on Roblox, you got a little sense of how we viewed video. We are creating and supporting an immersive 3D experience.

With our friends, we can go places together, we can go to a concert, we can play together, we can work together, we can go to school together. And just as in the real world, when we go to concerts and there are video streams, then there are performers live, we think that's going to be very common in the metaverse as well. So the primary thrust right now is all of our work around video is mimicking the real world and making that video available within those experiences. One can imagine a lot of other interesting video experiences on our platform as well, clips, streaming, things that typically happen right now on partners like a YouTube or a Twitch.

And so there is a huge video ecosystem around Roblox with our influencers. It's just not on our platform right now. And we don't have any future forward-looking statements around products in that area.

Anna Yen -- Head of Investor Relations

I think we've got time for one more -- one or two more. Roblox has shown impressive growth in the international market and what is driving this? Is it technology? Is it content? Is it a flywheel? Can you comment on that?

Dave Baszucki -- Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Great question. Yes. Yes. Yes.

Yes. And what has driven our growth historically, has been a dual loop, and it's unique to this class of platforms. It's a loop around great content, the higher the quality of the content, the bigger the economy. The bigger the economy, the larger teams are able to make content, mixed with up-and-coming UGC creators.

And the better the content, the more people come to the platform. But that content then serves as a foundation for a second viral loop where the more of my friends are on the platform, the more exciting it is for me to come to the platform and hang out, play, work, learn, experience entertainment within that content. So it's yes to all of those. All of these work together in two viral loops to drive our growth.

Anna Yen -- Head of Investor Relations

Great. I think we can wrap it up.

Dave Baszucki -- Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Cool. Well, hey, team, thank you, all. Really appreciate it, and thank you for all of the great questions. I just want to thank everyone out there, including members of the Roblox community, for joining us today, and it's really exciting building this metaverse.

We're really excited about what's ahead for us. And finally, a reach out to the world. Our hearts really reach out to all of the countries that are working through COVID, and we hope we're done with this as soon as possible. So thank you for joining us on our first earnings call today.

Operator

[Operator signoff]

Duration: 51 minutes

Call participants:

Anna Yen -- Head of Investor Relations

Dave Baszucki -- Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Alexia Quadrani -- J.P. Morgan -- Analyst

Michael Guthrie -- Chief Financial Officer

Brian Nowak -- Morgan Stanley -- Analyst

Mike Ng -- Goldman Sachs -- Analyst

Drew Crum -- Stifel Financial Corp. -- Analyst

Ryan Gee -- Bank of America Merrill Lynch -- Analyst

Matthew Thornton -- Truist Securities -- Analyst

Brandon Ross -- Lightshed Partners -- Analyst

David Gibson -- Astris Advisory -- Analyst

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