SOURCE: Olivia

January 12, 2007 09:00 ET

Olivia Launches First Lesbian Social Networking Site

Propriety Research Supports Natural Evolution of Travel & Lifestyle Brand

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- January 12, 2007 -- Olivia, the world's leading lesbian lifestyle company, today announced the launch of the first fully interactive online social networking site for lesbians -- "Olivia Connect." The site can be accessed at

"Olivia has been serving the lesbian community for 34 years, and this is a natural extension of our sector-leading brand," said Amy Errett, CEO of Olivia. "Our vision is to provide and facilitate an authentic, grass-roots social network for the lesbian community that is user-focused and features user-generated content. We foresee friendships being forged, people reaching out and building community and a sense of empowerment realized as these powerful connections are created."

Olivia is the leading provider of luxury travel services for the lesbian market. The company recently announced record revenues of $20 million for 2006 and a growing member base of 300,000. The decision to diversify the Olivia brand from a travel and lifestyle brand to an online destination for lesbians is supported by proprietary research conducted by Olivia and Loyalty Matrix, an independent research company.

The research -- a unique representation of lesbians nationwide including a mix of prior Olivia travelers and lesbians nationwide -- revealed that lesbians as a group are more tech savvy and use the Internet more than the general population. Among the key findings:

--  90% of survey respondents have high speed Internet or wireless
--  88% are online daily (vs. 66% of Americans according to a 2006 Pew
    Internet Project study);
--  Respondents spend more time online daily than the average American,
    and exceed the average American's online usage for emailing, researching
    and shopping.
"It was evident in the research that the lesbian community is highly active online and at the same time it was apparent that there was no place for them to meet others for dating or friendship," said Sabrina Riddle, Olivia's Chief Media and Marketing Officer. "The research confirmed our assumptions about the lesbian market and helped us further identify their wants and needs. We are uniquely positioned to understand and meet these needs, based on our more than three decades of experience. We are creating a comprehensive online destination designed to enhance the lives of lesbians and allow them to flourish wherever they reside."

In addition to member profiles, other free, interactive features of Olivia Connect include the unique "Emotion Map," an elegant graphics box in which an array of circles in constant motion represent the daily thoughts and feelings that members can post to share with one another. Members can also share photos, messages, "Send a Flirt" and create a friend network to start dialogues with other members.

Lesbian-specific original content and other features will be added to the site in the coming weeks, including Olivia Interest Groups, Dating, Blogs, Professional Resources and other interactive networking tools. Over the next few months, the site will integrate online travel reservations as well as an online magazine.

Olivia has a number of corporate partners, including a marketing partnership with Bank of America to offer an Olivia-branded Visa product, and is in the process of forging agreements with its first online advertisers to support the Olivia Connect site.

About Olivia

Olivia is the lifestyle brand focused exclusively on lesbians and delivering premium products and services that connect and celebrate their lives. Originally founded as a record label in 1973, the San Francisco-based company has evolved into the leader in lesbian travel, offering extraordinary vacations for lesbians to some the world's most exclusive destinations and featuring top entertainers including Lily Tomlin, Whoopi Goldberg, Melissa Etheridge and cast members from Showtime's original hit series, "The L Word." In addition to travel, Olivia offers an Olivia Visa rewards credit card and in 2007 will be launching, an online community, content and resource destination for lesbians, Olivia Magazine, a lifestyle magazine for lesbians, Olivia Membership, a program offering special benefits and resources for lesbians, including insurance and financial services, retail discounts, access to entertainment and heath and fitness resources, and Olivia Living, an active adult resort retirement community. Visibility and empowerment for lesbians is at the heart of everything Olivia does. It is proud to sponsor top out athletes Sheryl Swoopes and Rosie Jones and support a number of Women's and Lesbian and Gay organizations, donating more than $450,000 to groups working to empower and transform lives of women and lesbians. For more information on Olivia, visit

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